Entertainment & Arts

British acts account for 1 in 7 albums sold worldwide

One Direction Four and Ed Sheeran X album covers Image copyright Record labels
Image caption One Direction's Four and Ed Sheeran's X were the biggest British albums globally in 2014

One Direction, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay helped UK artists account for one in seven of the albums sold globally during 2014, the BPI has said.

With 13.7% of worldwide sales, it's the highest British share since the BPI began recording those figures in 2000.

Sales of albums by British artists rose in Canada, Australia, Italy and Sweden, as well as the US.

Albums from Sam Smith and Pink Floyd also made the top ten list of the world's biggest-sellers of 2014.

According to the BPI's Music Market 2015 report, Taylor Swift topped the list of global recording artists, after shifting six million copies of her album 1989.

The figures, which take into account album sales, track sales and streams, put One Direction in second place and Sheeran in third.

The BPI also found that streaming had doubled in the UK during 2014.

Image caption Coldplay's album Ghost Stories sold 3.7 million copies worldwide in 2014

As previously reported, British acts dominated album sales in the UK in 2014, taking each of the top 10 best-selling artist albums of the year for the first time, and accounting for more than half of album sales.

Other British artists making a notable global impact in 2014 include London Grammar in France and Australia, James Blunt in Germany, Paloma Faith in Australia and Arctic Monkeys in countries including the US.

British artists accounted for 20.4% of sales in Australia, while in Italy it was 19.8%.

BPI and Brit Awards chief executive, Geoff Taylor, said the figures showed the UK is a "creative powerhouse".

"Music is a tremendous exports success story for the UK - all around the world, fans are listening to the records we produce, supporting not only our balance of trade but a positive image for Britain overseas," he said.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2014
Artist Album Album sales Nationality
1. Taylor Swift 1989 6.0 million USA
2. One Direction Four 3.2 million UK
3. Ed Sheeran X 4.4 million UK
4. Coldplay Ghost Stories 3.7 million UK
5. AC/DC Rock Or Bust 2.7 million UK/Australia
6. Michael Jackson Xscape 1.7 million USA
7. Pink Floyd The Endless River 2.5 million UK
8. Sam Smith In The Lonely Hour 3.5 million UK
9. Katy Perry Prism 1.2 million USA
10. Beyonce Beyonce 1.4 million USA

Source: IFPI (positions are based on album sales, track sales and streams)

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