BIG INTERVIEW SAMMY ANDREWS “Old men can tell us about the last 50 years of the industry, but not about the next fi ve months”
REPORT FESTIVAL WASHOUTS After the Glasto mud, can the UK’s outdoor shows survive another terrible British summer?
PROFILE BLINK-182 “We’re really excited that people are buying their fi rst Blink-182 album”
Q2: streams boom but lack of new talent worries biz 80% RISE IN STREAMS POWERS 5% MARKET UPLIFT, BUT EXECS FRET OVER UK BREAKTHROUGH DROUGHT
RETAIL BY MARK SUTHERLAND
The UK music industry celebrated another boost in the second quarter of 2016, with overall music consumption up 5% year-on-year. Using the Album Equivalent Sales measurement, which comprises physical and digital album sales, track equivalent albums (where 10 track sales equals one album) and streaming equivalent albums (where 1,000 streams equals one album), BPI analysis of Official Charts Company data shows the total market hit 28,304,825 units in April, May and June.
Audio streaming was once again the key component behind that growth, surging 79.5% yearon-year to pass 11 billion streams for the quarter. For the first time, audio streaming was the largest component of the AES market figure, accounting for 39.1% of consumption, ahead of physical albums on 35.5%. Streams will likely hit 1 billion per week before the end of the year.
And, while actual album sales were again down – 15.6% year-on-year to 14,658,224 – the growth in streaming more than made up for it, while further growth in vinyl sales (+62.8% year-on-year to 715,403 units) helped restrict the year-on-year fall in physical album sales to -6.3%. Vinyl remains on track to break through the three million barrier for the year.
But the biz will continue to be concerned about
Beyoncé’s Lemonade was Q2’s biggest-selling album plummeting download figures, with digital albums down 30.5% and track downloads down 25.1% year-on-year. And the lack of breakthroughs by new UK acts is also troubling executives.
Last week’s Music Week revealed that only two 2016-released debut albums by UK artists – Zayn’s Mind Of Mine (RCA) and Jack Garratt’s Phase (Island) – had made the Top 200 for the first half of the year, both selling fewer than 60,000 copies each.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told Music Week breaking new artists was “a subject of hot debate at the BPI right now” as the recorded music trade body ponders action to boost new talent.
“There are a variety of factors at play,” he added, “Including a relatively stronger US release schedule in the first half, but also the growing importance of streaming and globally programmed playlists, radio playlisting policies, the role of the Official Chart and more. We will be looking at what independent and major labels can do, working with retail, radio and media partners, industry bodies and Government, to ensure the exceptionally high level of A&R and marketing investment by UK labels continues to deliver breakthrough UK talent.”
Brian Rose, MD of Universal Music UK’s commercial division noted that 2016 sales have been impacted by albums from David Bowie and Prince’s catalogues, plus releases by North American superstars such as Beyoncé and Drake.
“These things go in cycles,” said Rose. “It is slower than this time last year, but there has been a lot of focus on US acts and on artists who have sadly passed away. It is only the halfway point.”
Warner’s SVP, commercial, Derek Allen admitted the lack of breakthroughs was “a real concern”.
“We definitely recognise it,” he said. “The chart at the moment is very, very slow and that may be a contributing factor.”
Market share-wise, Universal continued to dominate, with a 35.1% share of AES, including compilations. Sony was second with 22.1%, followed by Warner with 17.6%, although Warner again hit No.2 on artist album sales.
Universal’s Virgin EMI was again label champ, with a 10.3% share of AES including comps, followed by Sony’s RCA (8.7%) and Universal’s Island (8%).
See p13-15 for full analysis of the Q2 figures.
Save the date: Music Week Sync Awards return for third edition
The annual Music Week Sync Awards return for a third year, taking place on Thursday, October 20 at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom.
This year’s awards will see an audience of the industry’s finest come together to celebrate 2016’s best sync executives, teams and song placements across a diverse range of media.
Winners will be selecte d from the ranks of record companies, publishers, sync teams and music supervisors, as well as the worlds of broadcast and advertising. Last year’s winners included Warner Music, Bucks Music Group, Sony/ATV and Beggars Music Group.
Full details on this year’s categories,
SYNC AWARDS 2016
nominations process and how to purchase tickets for the event will be announced soon. Stay tuned to musicweek.com for further updates.