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BRITISH INDIES ADD MARKETSHARE

The U.K. independent sector’s marketshare rose for the third year in a row in 2020 to hit 25.9%, according to stats from the BPI and AIM. This is partly due to independent #1 albums from BTSGerry CinnamonIDLES and Kylie

Since 2018 the British independent sector has added 1.9% to its share of album equivalent sales, rising from 24% over three years. Between 2019 and 2020, its share rose by 0.9%. Indies’ portion of streaming equivalent albums (SEA) has also risen during this time, from 23.8% in 2018 to 24% in 2019 and 24.5% in 2020.  

Aside from top-charting albums, the increase is attributed to the popularity of independent releases on physical formats. Independents’ highest format share in 2020 was vinyl (35%); the sector claimed close to 30% of all CD sales, rising to 32.5% in Q1 this year. In the first three months of 2021, independent artists claimed nearly four in every 10 vinyl LPs purchased in the U.K. (39.8%).

On streaming services, independently released tracks by artists such as AJ TraceyTrevor Daniel and Endor were among the 100 most-played songs in the U.K. in 2020. Independent acts such as Central CeeKSI, BTS and Tom Zanetti have charted in the Top 100 in 2021, and in Q1 this year, the independent sector’s share of SEA continued to rise, reaching 25.8%. 

In addition to claiming four #1 albums last year (the biggest tally since 2017), independent artists produced 52 Official Albums Chart Top 10 entries (again the biggest number since 2017). This success has continued into Q1 2021 with three independent acts making it to #1: You Me at Six (Suckapunch), Mogwai (As the Love Continues) and Architects (For Those That Wish to Exist). 

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