Vinyl comeback led by David Bowie helps UK music to vintage 2016

William Turvill
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Rock legend David Bowie performs on stag
David Bowie was the star man for vinyl records last year (Source: Getty)

The vinyl comeback, David Bowie and streaming helped 2016 become a vintage year for UK music consumption.

Industry body the BPI counted a total of 123m album equivalent sales (AES) last year, a 1.5 per cent increase on 2015’s figures. This corresponded to an estimated retail value of £1bn.

There were 45bn audio streams served in 2016, up 68 per cent on 2015.

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Meanwhile, vinyl sales – led by Bowie’s Blackstar – were up 53 per cent to more than 3.2m, the most LPs sold since 1991.

Bowie, who died in January, had four other albums in the top 30 for vinyl: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Nothing Has Changed – V.Best of Bowie, and ChangesOne.

Overall, Adele’s 25 was the best-selling artist album, while the likes of Coldplay, Little Mix, the 1975, Rick Astley and the Rolling Stones also performed well.

The biggest single was One Dance, released by a Canadian artist known as Drake.

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“Growth in UK music consumption in 2016 was fuelled by the explosive rise in audio streaming, which has increased 500 per cent since 2013, and relative resilience from physical formats,” said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

Led by sales of David Bowie, demand for vinyl jumped to levels not seen since the start of the Nineties, and fans also bought and collected music on CD that they are discovering and enjoying through streaming services in ever larger numbers.

We believe this performance is indicative of the promise of a new era for music, where recorded music’s investments in a digital future fuel compelling benefits for fans, artists and the entire music ecosystem.

Top artist album overall:

  • Adele – 25

Top artist single overall:

  • Drake ft. Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance

Most streamed artist:

  • Drake

Top vinyl artist album:

  • David Bowie – Blackstar

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