The UK’s recorded music market has seen a record-breaking year in 2023, according to data released by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Consequently, the report shows the ninth consecutive annual rise in music consumption, fueled predominantly by the streaming sector.

UK recorded music market growth

Streaming accounts for 87.7% of the market going into 2024, a significant increase from 63.6% in 2018.

Furthermore, the streaming market accumulated 179.6 billion audio streams throughout the year in the UK, marking a 12.8% surge from the previous year and nearly double the total achieved five years earlier.

The combined figure of sales and streams of music in the UK saw a robust increase of 10% in 2023. Rolling into 2024, figures sum to 182.8 million albums or their equivalent while streaming equivalent albums witnessed a particularly noteworthy growth of 12.0%, reaching 160.3 million streams.

Meanwhile, 2023 has seen more female representation in the charts than in previous years. For example, Miley Cyrus and her chart-topping “Flowers” lead the charge by spending an impressive 10 weeks at number one!

Overall, women secured a record-breaking 31 out of 52 weeks at the top of the singles chart in 2023. Artists like Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Kenya Grace, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift contributed to this achievement, marking 2023 as a historic year for female representation in the charts.

Chief Executive of the BPI Dr Jo Twist OBE acknowledged the milestone, stating, “There is a more diverse range of recording artists than ever achieving great success with the backing of their labels.” However, she emphasized the need to continue working towards full representation for women across the music industry.

The year’s Top 10 tracks and four of the five biggest tracks were dominated by women based on combined streaming and sales activity. Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” topped the list, accompanied by hits from SZA, Taylor Swift, and others.

Additionally, the BPI introduced the BRIT Billion Award in 2023, recognizing artists with over one billion career streams in the UK alone. Nearly 30 artists have received this honour, including Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Queen, AJ Tracey, Becky Hill, and others.

As for album charts in 2023, The Weeknd’s retrospective “The Highlights” claimed the top spot, while Taylor Swift secured the second and third positions with “Midnights” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” respectively. Vinyl LP sales continued their upward trajectory for the 16th consecutive year, experiencing an 11.8% rise to 6.1 million units, the highest level since 1990.

The comprehensive data further underscores the music industry’s resilience and adaptability, showcasing the coexistence of streaming dominance and the enduring popularity of physical formats like vinyl, contributing to an overall robust and dynamic recorded music market in the UK.