British albums dominate worldwide sales - and Beatles are still going strong 50 years on from Sgt. Pepper's

 
Josh Mines
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The re-release of the classic Beatles albums helped drive huge album sales for British musicians worldwide (Source: Getty)

Music record sales for British artists was strong again in 2017 - as one in eight albums bought worldwide were made by a British act.

On top of that, 12.9 per cent of all music purchased or streamed around the world was from Britain.

Sales were partially driven by albums from classic acts such as the Beatles, and ex Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters. The fab four's iconic record 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was re-released last year to celebrate is 50th birthday, while Waters enjoyed success with his latest solo effort 'Is This the Life we Really Want'.

Top contemporary artists from the UK also struck a chord with global audiences, as both of Ed Sheeran's previous albums 'Divide' and 'X' made the top 10 list of best selling British efforts, alongside projects from Rag'n'Bone Man, Sam Smith and One Directioner Harry Styles.

Read more: Ranked: The UK's richest musicians in 2018

The analysis, carried out by the BPI, looked into album sales in 11 of the 15 biggest global music markets, including the top five - the US, Japan, Germany, the UK and France. Overall, these markets are worth $14bn (£10.5bn) - over 80 per cent of the entire global music industry.

Unsurprisingly, British artists dominated music consumption in their home country, with just under half (48.2 per cent) of all sales. In Europe, the figure was 22.1 per cent, 11.9 per cent in the US and 24.9 per cent in Australia.

Geoff Taylor, BPI & BRIT Awards chief executive, said:

British artists and their music continue to inspire fans all around the world. This country has innovative, risk-taking labels that invest heavily in the best of British talent, promoting home-grown artists to global audiences on fast-growing streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

In 2017, we maintained our exceptional share of the world’s listening, consolidating our position as the second most successful music nation on earth, exporting more music than any country after the US.

As Britain begins to chart its new course in international trade, it’s not idle hyperbole to claim that music has truly become Britain’s international calling card.”

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