Image Credit: Edu Grande

Whilst a tumultuous and difficult year for so many, 2020 saw remarkable growth for UK Music as the resurgence in music revenues continues.

UK Music sales reached a whopping £1.55 billion in 2020, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association. The final figure represents 6.8% growth on 2019 and continues a trend of growth for the music industry that has been consistent in the last half a decade.

It’s fantastic news for an industry that peaked shortly after the millennia and then saw rapid declines with the rise of music piracy. UK Music is seeing its longest period of continuous growth since the 1990s and revenues are now surpassing the previous 2001 peak of £1.2 billion.

The last decade has seen music revenues return with the rise of music streaming providing a profitable answer to the musical buffet that the internet offers. Streaming saw the most considerable growth in 2020, rising 15.5% and making up over £1.2 billion of the overall result.

Vinyl boosted things with its ongoing resurgence in popularity as music fans look to hold on to the physical side of music as the world goes digital. Vinyl sales were up by 13.3% in the year and now account for nearly half – 40% – of the UK’s physical music market, an unprecedented amount since the rise of tapes and CDs saw vinyls fade into the background.

The Power of Digital

In the first half of 2020 there was a lot of uncertainty as to how the year would pan out for many industries, music included. As gigs were cancelled all over the world and more and more people faced losing income, it was thought the money spent on music would dissappear.

Of course, it still has been difficult for the music industry in many, many ways. Digital music services have been a saving grace, as streaming naturally grew in the last year as people spent more time at home and had an unlimited source of music available to them. Music streaming consumption grew by 20% during lockdown.

Digital media was a blessing to many in the last year who have seen prolonged periods at home, variably alone. The growth was clear outside of digital music with on-demand video revenues growing by 37.7% and gaming growing in both physical and digital retail: 4.6% and 16.3% respectively.

Of course, it’s not all good news for the music industry. The live music industry has been decimated with many artists losing their primary source of income and events organisers warning that 2021 will be a point of no return if concerts and festivals aren’t able to take place and are not provided government support. Industry funded body representing artists, labels, promoters, and more; UK Music have released a report and strategy for the music industry to survive another potentially disastrous year for the live music industry.