Digital music 'becomes mainstream' in the UK

HMV store on Dublin's Grafton Street HMV has been hit by competition from online rivals, supermarkets and illegal music and film downloads

Related Stories

The inexorable rise of digital music, blamed by many for the collapse of high street retailer HMV, continues unabated in the UK, according to new figures.

Almost one in five consumers (19.6%) now prefers to buy all their music as downloads, says trade body the BPI.

Last year, 27.7% of UK music fans purchased downloads from stores such as iTunes or Amazon; or streamed songs on services like Spotify or YouTube.

Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know was the most-streamed song of 2012.

It was closely followed by Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe - with more than 3.7 billion tracks streamed in the UK in 2012, or 140 per household.

The streaming market is now worth £49m to record labels.

Spotify leads the field in terms of brand awareness, with figures revealing almost 70% of all consumers to be familiar with the Swedish service.

According to the BPI, four out of five of consumers have heard of at least one of the leading audio streaming services.

Spotify's own research shows Edinburgh to be the UK's top city for streaming in terms of per-capita usage, followed by Cardiff and Southampton.

On the release of the BPI's Digital Music Nation report, its chief executive, Geoff Taylor, said there had "rightly" been "a lot of focus in the past few weeks on High Street music retail".

"That will continue," he continued. "We must do all we can to serve music fans who love CDs and vinyl.

"But as well as great music stores, Britain is blessed with a world-beating array of digital music services."

The music fan, he said, would be "the clear winner as digital services evolve to deliver even richer music experiences".


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    Music is an aural experience: there's nothing to physically hold about it. Those who insist on having a plastic case or cardboard sleeve to go with their listening pleasure are just being silly. You're paying extra for stuff that's irrelevant and just been tacked on to make more money out of you. Mugs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 127.

    I still buy CDs and rip them onto my computer. I prefer having something I can hold and look at and read to something I could lose forever with an accidental delete or a hard drive crash. But then I'm old school with thousands of records and CDs all over the house.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    I mainly stream my music because I find it better in almost all aspects.

    Although it's great too have a tangible item and have it hold some sentimental value (which only CDs/Vinyl can provide), with digital;

    - Playlists with hundreds of tracks/artists
    - Can't lose an album (unless the host removes it which is rare)
    - Cheaper & easier
    - Radio to discover new artists

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    I don't like this at all. As we all know, this is what's caused HMV to go into administration - people are chossing to download music instead of going out and buying it.

    The other day, I went into an HMV and felt wonderful immersed in all that music, all those albums on the shelves, and finding all the artists I like. I don't want that to end.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    I've downloaded 5 ot 6 songs in the last few years.

    My 1300+ songs in my iTunes account are mostly from my favourite CD tracks.

    I like buying CDs and the ocassional vinyl as well as DVDs, instead of streaming.

    I'm very proud of my CD cabinet at home and I intend to keep growing my collection.


Comments 5 of 10


More Entertainment & Arts stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • TravelAround the world

    BBC Travel takes a look at the most striking images from the past seven days


  • BatteriesClick Watch

    More power to your phone - the lithium-ion batteries that could last twice as long

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.