Business News Labels & Publishers

UK recorded music revenues up 4.7% to £1.32 billion in 2022, BPI confirms

By | Published on Thursday 9 March 2023


UK record label trade group BPI has just presented us with a big bucket of stats about the performance of the British recorded music business in 2022. So let’s all put on our stat hats and take a look, shall we?

Total revenues in 2022 were up 4.7% year-on-year to £1.32 billion, which is the eighth consecutive year of growth and the highest ever level of income recorded by the BPI in its annual stats round up. So that’s nice.

I mean, that’s assuming you don’t adjust for inflation. If you do adjust for inflation, the UK recorded music business still has some way to go before it matches the revenues it achieved back in the good times when people everywhere just adored those little plastic discs. But the trick here, I think, is to never adjust for inflation. See, apply that rule and everyone feels better already.

The continued growth is, of course, powered by the streams. Mainly paid for streams, with premium streaming services bringing in more than ten times the cash received from ad-funded services. Though income from the free platforms did see decent growth last year.

So streaming at large was up 6.3% to £885 million, meanwhile premium streaming grew 4.8% to £762.8 million and income from free streaming was up 22.3% to £62.5 million.

Vinyl sales also continued to grow last year, with revenues from vinyl albums up 3.1% to £119.5 million. However, CD revenues slipped another 23.7% to £89.5 million, meaning physical revenues overall were down 10.5%.

Maths fans will note the confirmation there that – while in terms of units sold CDs continue to outperform vinyl – the latter brings in more money.

Sync income and the monies that flow in from the broadcast and public performance of recorded music were both hit by the pandemic, so scored impressive growth figures last year, but that was partly the bounce back. Sync revenues were up 39% to £42.7 million, while broadcast and performance monies were up 23% to £143.4 million.

Maths fans not worn out from their CD v vinyl calculation will also note that broadcast and performance income is more than three times that of sync. But hey, sync’s still the exciting revenue stream, right?

And now a quote from the BPI’s Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO Sophie Jones: “The hard work and creativity of UK artists and labels meant that 2022 was another great year for British music, but we must guard against any complacency in the face of growing challenges and keep promoting and protecting the value of music”.

“That’s why labels continue to innovate and invest in new talent and areas to connect more artists and fans while driving additional revenues”, she adds.

“The UK environment has always enabled recorded music to thrive, something we must safeguard, but now we need the music community to unite and create the impetus for further growth so that we can build on an already strong foundation to future proof the success of British music in an increasingly competitive global music market”.