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Independent label releases make up over 25% of UK music consumption

UK independent labels' consumption share across physical and streaming formats rose for a third consecutive year

More than a quarter of all music consumed in the UK in 2020 was by artists from the independent music community, the BPI and AIM have reported this month.

The data, drawn from the BPI's yearbook 'All About The Music 2021' and pieced together from Official Charts Company information, also showed that UK independent labels' share of overall music consumption across streaming and physical formats rose for a third successive year in 2020, reaching just shy of 26%. 

The sale of physical formats has particularly been key to allowing independent labels and artists to maintain a significant share of chart impact, the BPI's information concludes. Independents' highest format share in 2020 came on the sale of vinyl LPs, for which they accounted for 35% of sales, and this has continued to rise in the first three months of 2021, hitting just shy of 40%. 

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: “The Independent community lies at the heart of our vibrant music scene, consistently innovating to make the UK a dynamic and competitive incubator of diverse new talent. Indie labels and their artists are harnessing the global reach of streaming, introducing new models for artist/label partnerships, and are playing a key role in the revival of vinyl and resilience of CD. They help to ensure the music industry is teeming with creativity, and that fans and artists have more choice than ever.”

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM, said: "Independent music businesses are the home of innovation and experimentation in the UK music industry. Our community of creative entrepreneurs keeps music moving forwards. As streaming offers consumers ever more opportunity to discover and enjoy diverse and eclectic music, it is no wonder that independent market share continues to grow, even in the face of industry consolidation.”

This news follows on from the relevation that vinyl sales contributed £86.5 million to UK recorded music revenue in 2020.