More than a quarter of all music consumed in the UK during 2020 was released by independent artists, a new report has revealed. 

The research, produced by the BPI and Association of Independent Music using Official Charts Company data, shows how streaming and physical sales of tracks released by independent acts increased for the third consecutive year in 2020 to account for 26 percent of the market.

Alongside digital music, indie artists have played a particularly influential role in the resurgence of physical formats, with independents’ highest format share in 2020 coming on vinyl LP (35 percent).  

In the first three months of 2021 this rose further as independent artists claimed nearly four in every 10 vinyl LPs purchased by the UK music-buying public (39.8 percent). 

James Brister, ICMP’s Industry Liaison Manager, said: 

"This report comes as no surprise, even from the relatively small sample - in relation to the size of the independent sector - of our students and alumni at ICMP."

We have seen and helped nurture our independent artists here and have witnessed how they are leading the way when it comes to engaging with listeners, audience and fans, across a multitude of platforms and in meaningful ways." 

"Independent artists have the ability to be adaptive, agile and evolutionary in an instant, making them dynamically relevant to their growing audiences and maintaining their authentic connectivity. This sector is only going to continue to grow and will lead the way in innovation. It's a privilege to be involved in it and to continue to support our independent artist community at ICMP."

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 the independent market share continues to grow, even in the face of industry consolidation."

Indie artists have also enjoyed some great chart success too with Mogwai (Rock Action Records), You Me At Six (AWAL) and Architects (Epitaph Records) all achieving number one albums in the Official Albums Chart during 2021. 

ICMP and AIM's Scholarship 

We're delighted to be working with AIM on the third year of the Music Business and Entrepreneurship scholarship.

The scheme is for any aspiring music entrepreneurs with a keen interest in music business who might not be in a position to consider study as part of their career development.

One selected applicant will be able to join ICMP’s one-year Cert HE Music Business and Entrepreneurship course. 


Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

Find your course