Can superstar artists help sustain UK streaming growth in 2022? | Labels

Harry Styles is chasing a fifth week at No. 1 as he prepares to release a new album.

Harry’s house (Colombia) drops on May 20 and is one of the main releases for Q2 and beyond. The world superstar’s single As it was has already amassed OCC sales of 293,789, largely based on 32.7 million audio and video streams.

The next album from Harry Styles comes at a time of economic fragility with growing investor attention on the performance of streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify. Although Spotify did not experience any drop in subscribers like Netflix in the first quarter, its stocks plunged to a new low amid concerns over weaker growth and the streaming giant’s overall outlook.

According to exclusive BPI figures based on Official Charts Company data, music week can confirm that in terms of consumption, the UK streaming market remains healthy.

Streamed equivalent albums increased 10.8% year-on-year to 35,236,726 in Q1. The comparison is with a period in the first three months of 2021 when the UK was in lockdown, which may well have affected the consumption pattern in the first quarter of last year.

Streaming growth this year has outpaced performance in 2021, when the market was up 7.6% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2020 (although it was a 53-week year that did a big jump in the first quarter of 2021 more difficult to achieve).

In addition to Harry Styles, there are other big Q2 releases to come, including C’Mon You Know (Warner Records) by Liam Gallagher (May 27); Gold Rush Kid (Colombia) by Georges Esdras (June 10); and Life Is Yours (Warner Records) by Foals (June 17).

Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) CEO Kim Bayley said: “Streaming services have produced the longest sustained growth in music industry revenue in decades and by making music subscriptions a staple for many people, they are well positioned to weather the headwinds in the economy. While the strength of release schedules has little direct impact on subscription rate, the incredible array of releases in Q2 certainly can’t hurt. No sector is immune to broader economic forces, but we remain optimistic about the medium to long-term outlook for music.

As the second half of 2022 begins, there are new LPs coming from Lizzo (July 15), Beabadoobee (July 15) and Bob Marley & The Chineke! Orchestra (July 22).

This latest release is likely to give further impetus to the streaming of Bob Marley’s (Tuff Gong/UMC) Legend Collection, which ended the first quarter as the 38th biggest artist album (29,430 sales). Catalog is a key driver of streaming consumption and constitutes 60% of this year’s Q1 Top 10 artist albums.

No sector is immune to broader economic forces, but we remain optimistic about the medium to long-term outlook for music.

Kim Bayley

As revealed in music weekquarterly sales analysis of, by Ed Sheeran = (Atlantic) was the biggest artist album in the first quarter (133,470 sales), followed by Adele’s 30th birthday (Colombia) at No. 2 (94,296). The Encanto soundtrack, listed separately in the first quarter compilation recap, was actually the biggest album of the quarter with 152,767 sales.

According to OCC data, all music consumption based on the album equivalent sales (AES) metric rose 8.1% year-over-year in the first quarter to 40,677,767 units. . This performance was helped by the good performance of physical sales with a drop of only 0.1% compared to the quarter of the previous year.

Vinyl album sales grew 6.7% year-over-year in the first quarter (1,153,134 units), and the format will get further momentum with Record Store Day, which took place in the second quarter. CD sales were down just 3.3% in the first quarter (2,740,983), but while the format is still well ahead of vinyl in terms of units, it should fall behind based on comparison of values ​​in 2022.

According to music week analysis of OCC data for the first four weeks of the second quarter, audio streams increased by 4.1% compared to the same four-week chart period in 2021. This deceleration in the second quarter – so far at least – means that big new releases will be key to delivering strong overall Q2 performance for UK consumer DSP.

It follows BPI analyzes that a record number of tracks has now reached 10 million streams in the UK alone. Based again on data from the OCC, the BPI found that a new high of 1,776 tracks racked up at least 10 million audio streams in the UK in 2021. That figure was up from 10.8 % compared to the previous year, when in 2016 only 348 tracks reached this level of popularity.

Geoff Taylor, Managing Director BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prizesaid: “Over the years, the streaming totals achieved by even modest success have grown steadily. The fact that nearly 1,800 tracks have generated over 10 million streams in the UK alone Uni shows that a growing group of artists are enjoying significant success in this market – and this figure is only going to grow.They include many UK artists who, supported by investment and marketing from their records, attract huge audiences for their music all over the world.

Meanwhile, an Ofcom audio survey revealed the penetration of streaming services in the UK. During its free, premium and trial periods, Spotify topped the list with 55% of all respondents using the platform. For the 16-24 age group, this figure is 73% (and 50% for the premium service).

According to the poll, Apple Music is at 13% of all respondents. The platform has 20% of the 25-34 age group.

Amazon Music has multiple tiers, from free to limited to premium, which has a 34% reach among respondents. Amazon Music Unlimited, the subscription service, has a reach of 9%.

Subscribers can read our 2021 analysis here.

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