UK music continues to offer great opportunities for artists with music consumption rising by 2.5 percent in 2021 to reach 159 million albums streamed or purchased, new data reveals. 

The figures, released by record labels’ association the BPI, based on Official Charts Company data, show that consumption comprised over 147 billion individual audio streams, up 5.7 percent on 2020. 

In 2021 nearly 2,000 artists (1,918) were streamed over 10 million times in the UK (excluding global streams, which tend to be four times greater). 

This compares with 1,798 in 2020 and 1,537 in 2019, up a quarter in two years. 

The BPI claims this “means nearly twice as many artists are now earning meaningful royalties as could do so in the CD era”. 

Alongside established names such as Adele and Elton John using streaming to cement their fanbase in 2021, the BPI listed a wave of new talent using these platforms to elevate their careers.

Rap artists including Little Simz, Central Cee, Arrdee, D-Block Europe, AJ Tracey, Headie One, J Hus and KSI, plus pop and dance artists including Mimi Webb, Becky Hill and and Bicep are just some of the exciting names using streaming to develop their UK and global audiences. 

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

“With the challenges of the past two years, it’s clear that we need music more than ever to keep us connected."

“The publication of these industry statistics shows the power of music streaming in helping satisfy appetites for new music as well as how it can empower artists and allow them to find audiences."

These figures also demonstrate the strength of the UK’s musical community, a resilience and talent reflected in our own musical community of students, tutors and alumni here at ICMP.” 

Further findings from revealed that additionally, there were over 14 million CDs and 5.3 million vinyl LPs purchased, with 185,000 cassettes sold and 4.6 million album downloads. 

Overall, streaming now accounts for 83 percent of UK music consumption. Vinyl LPs represent over a quarter of all purchases on physical format.

Visit the BPI's website for the full report. 

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