Indie artists are leading the way with record sales as vintage vinyls and CDs continue their comeback.
New analysis from the BPI – the UK association of independent and major record labels – has revealed that indie label share of artist album sales grew by more than a tenth in just two years, increasing across every format, from 30.4 per cent in 2019 to 34.2 per cent in 2021.
Their share of the UK vinyl market has risen even more sharply and in 2021, IT accounted for four in every ten vinyl LP purchases – up from 33.9 per cent in 2019.
The collective share of music consumption in the UK attributable to independent labels – including the likes of Dirty Hit, Partisan and PIAS – rose to stand at 26.9 per cent in 2021.
This was up from 25.9 per cent in 2020 and is markedly higher than the 22.1 per cent figure registered in 2017.
The strong performance reflects a particularly successful year for ‘indie’ artists, with 60 independent albums charting in the Official Albums Chart Top-10 (compared with 52 in 2020), including No.1 albums from artists such as Wolf Alice and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
The enduring appeal of independently-released albums that have gone on to become classics sees them now finding fresh audiences thanks to streaming and sales of vinyl.
Arctic Monkeys’ 2013 release AM was the biggest-selling indie album of 2021, while Adele’s 21 and 25 also powered the success of the sector.
“The UK has an enviable independent music scene, and enhances choice and variety to new and existing British talent. This continued growth demonstrates that indie labels and artists are thriving in the age of music streaming, and are particularly succeeding in the vinyl revival.
We’re delighted to see the indie sector going from strength to strength, contributing to the growth of the UK music industry as a whole”, said Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize.