Analysis by the BPI – the UK’s association of independent and major record labels – showed that independently released music saw its fourth consecutive year of growth.
The new figures were published via the BPI All About Music 2022 directory today (April 13). The publication is distributed free of charge to BPI members but can also be purchased and viewed here.
The figures reveal that the collective share of music consumption by independent labels, including Dirty Hit, Partisan and PIAS, was now 26.9%, down from 25.9% in 2020 and 22.1% in 2017.
Independent label shares of artist album sales also increased over two years across all formats, from 30.4% in 2019 to 34.2% in 2021. Music released on independent labels on vinyl now accounts for four in 10 (39.5%) of record purchases. .
Geoff Taylor, Managing Director of BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said in a statement: “The UK has an enviable independent music scene and is enhancing the choice and variety of new and existing British talent.
“This continued growth demonstrates that labels and independent artists are thriving in the age of music streaming, and particularly successful in the vinyl revival. We are delighted to see the independent sector growing more and more, contributing to the growth of the UK music industry as a whole.
The figures also revealed that 60 independent albums charted in 2021, up from 52 the previous year. These included number one albums from artists such as Wolf Alice, Mogwai, KSI and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Classic albums, including 2013’s Arctic Monkeys’ “AM,” were the top-selling independent album of 2021, while Adele’s “21” and “25” also saw sales increases.
The trend also seems to be continuing in 2022 thanks to the Number One albums by The Wombats and Don Broco.