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British releases account for nearly 12% of world record sales

By | Published on Wednesday 6 July 2011


British artists accounted for almost 12% of global record sales in 2010, according to figures published by record label trade body the BPI ahead of its AGM later today. In the biggest music market, America, one in ten of all artist albums sold were from UK talent, while Brit acts accounted for 13.4% of sales in Canada, 17.9% in Germany, 14.5% in France and 20.2% in Australia. And in Japan, while British talent only accounted for 3.8% of sales, that’s a fifth of all international sales in a market very dominated by native talent. Meanwhile a new survey by MORI reckons 83% of British people are proud of the UK music community’s achievements.

All of which demands a quote from BPI CEO Geoff Taylor, I think. He told CMU this morning: “Britons are rightly proud of the fact that we are global leaders in music – one in five of the top 50 selling records released around the world last year featured British artists. As more people consume music online, we have the opportunity to get even stronger. In March this year, UK performers held the top three positions in the US Billboard Chart for the first time in 25 years”.

He rambled on: “From The Beatles to Adele, the UK generates extraordinary talent that is backed by labels with digital knowhow and global ambition. Overseas success not only generates jobs and export income, it fosters a positive reputation for Britain around the world. It’s time for government to match words with action [on piracy] and get behind creative industries like music that can power growth of the UK economy in the 21st century”.

And look, talking of government, the BPI sent me a quote from Ed ‘The Geezer’ Vaizey, who’s now set to get three mentions in today’s CMU Daily. He told reporters: “These figures show what a great year it has been for the UK music industry. We have a proud history of producing music the world wants to listen to and I am delighted to see that continuing. This is not just about great artists but also highly talented people working behind the scenes. The UK music industry is an important part of our economy and I look forward to its continuing success in exporting British culture around the world”.