Sales of CDs and vinyl may not be suffering as much as some predicted as the popularity of online streaming continues to rise, new figures suggest.
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Music consumption in the UK has risen by 4% according to a report by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The rise is largely thanks to an 82% surge in digital streaming, but figures suggest music fans still value physical formats, such as CD and vinyl.
The 2015 Music Market report reveals that 122 million albums were purchased, either in a physical format, downloaded or consumed via streaming last year. In terms of listening however, radio is still the most popular format. A recent investigation by BPI found that 35% of all music listening occurs via radio. Followed by CD (20%) and free streaming (19%).
The survey into listening habits revealed a complex picture, with two-thirds of music fans now considering themselves ‘multi-channellers’. “Music consumption has entered a new multi-channel era,” BPI said, “in which fans increasingly stream for their daily music needs but also like to buy, collect and gift the music they most enjoy on CD and vinyl.”
Fans bought 2.1 million vinyl LPs last years, up 64% to reach a 21-year high. The historic decline in CD sales has slowed, dropping by just 3.9% to 53.6 million last year. “The research suggests physical formats may be more resilient in the multi-channel era than most commentators predicted,” BPI said.