Media Release: Dance music steps up the pace in 2015, with UK acts leading the way


DANCE music streaming is growing at a faster rate than for all other main music genres according to data from the Official Charts Company analysed by the BPI, with audio streams for the year-to-date double those for the same period a year ago (107 per cent).

The increasing popularity of streaming to listen to dance music is also confirmed by new survey data from AudienceNet – commissioned by music trade body the BPI – which shows that seven in ten fans are using services such as Spotify, Deezer and Google Play to discover and enjoy dance tracks.

The survey reveals vance buyers are twice as likely to subscribe to a music streaming service than are fans of other genres.

Separate figures from Kantar Worldpanel additionally reveal that dance fans also spend more on music than the average music buyer.

Dance consumption outpaces market

Singling out individual success stories, Major Lazer’s Lean On has just been named the most-streamed track of all time on Spotify, while one of the electronic group’s founding members, Diplo, has just been announced the ‘Most-Shazamed’ artist of 2015.

Another dance-related highlight for the year centres on Scottish DJ and producer, Calvin Harris, whose songs have totalled well over 120 million plays across all audio streaming services in the UK in 2015 alone.

Using the music industry’s standard Album Equivalent Sales (AES) metric, the consumption of dance music has outpaced the overall music market so far this year (up 3.2 per cent, compared to 1.4 per cent market average), with streaming now accounting for a quarter of all dance music consumed.

Dance’s vinyl heritage was also evident in the survey, with one third (32 per cent) of fans heralding the physical format as the best way to enjoy the music.

British acts account for half of dance music consumed in 2015

Disclosure, Years & Years, The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Rudimental are just some of the acts that helped propel dance music towards a more mainstream audience in 2015.

The full-length releases from this blend of newer and more established talent saw British artists account for three in every four dance albums sold between January and October 2015.

This helped UK acts to account for half (50 per cent) of all dance music – across albums, singles and streams – consumed in the UK in that period.

British dance artists are rightly recognised as being among the most popular and innovative in the world – just last week it was announced that three of the five shortlisted albums for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2016 Grammys are by UK acts.

The music being made also continues to attract critical acclaim at home, with albums by Jamie xx and Aphex Twin shortlisted for the 2015 Mercury Prize earlier this year.

House and Garage most popular dance sub-genres

The BPI has undertaken an analysis of dance sub-genres as part of the survey, finding that House and Garage combined accounted for almost half (48 per cent) of digital and physical singles sold in the first ten months of 2015 – leading the way ahead of mainstream dance (38 per cent), drum & bass (5.7 per cent), electronica (3.2 per cent), rave/hard dance (two per cent) and trance (1.5per cent).

House’s popularity in particular has been reinforced by the recent chart success of David Zowie, Karen Harding and Philip George, who have all had major hits this year.

When it comes to streaming, mainstream dance/EDM just edged House/Garage as the most popular sub-genre, with mainstream dance also topping the albums market, accounting for 46 per cent of sales.

Commenting on the success of dance music, BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive, Geoff Taylor, said: “The growing appetite for dance music has been evident throughout 2015. The dance audience is incredibly engaged, knowledgeable and passionate, as these new findings show. They are eager to discover new music using a variety of platforms, tend to invest more and are more likely to subscribe to streaming services.

“This year legendary acts such as The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Leftfield have carried their core audience forward whilst attracting a younger generation of fans, and the mainstream appeal of newer talent such as Disclosure, Rudimental and Years & Years bodes well for the future of the genre.”

UK dance acts breaking new ground overseas

The UK can be especially proud of its record in producing ground-breaking and internationally popular dance artists. In September this year, Disclosure cracked the US Billboard top ten with Caracal, while Years & Years saw their debut album Communion go top ten all over Europe.

Calvin Harris had his first Australian number one with How Deep is Your Love and The Chemical Brothers’ eighth studio album Born In the Echoes made the top five in territories as diverse as Switzerland, Italy and The Netherlands.

Curation and compilations keep dance fans coming back for more

AudienceNet’s survey also shows that compilations and curated content is very important to dance fans. Six out of ten said that compilations, mixes and playlists all influence their listening, with one in five specifically stating that they discover new tracks through mixes and compilations.

This is borne out by Official Charts Company data that highlights how compilations claim two thirds of all dance album sales, with titles from the genre accounting for one in every four compilations sold.

Established dance brands such as Ministry Of Sound and Clubland have become a real trademark of quality, with fans knowing that they can expect expertly compiled, well packaged titles.

Dance music plays a central role in the lives of its fans

Music can play a powerful part in dance fans’ lives. Nearly eight in ten survey respondents (79 per cent) say that the genre has been a positive force in their life, with two thirds (68 per cent) agreeing that there is a strong community within the dance scene.

Dance plays a central role in the social lives of many, with almost one third (29 per cent) of fans saying it also influences their choice of holiday destination, whilst a further third (30 per cent) say that they go clubbing on a monthly basis.


For more information, contact:

Gennaro Castaldo, BPI – 020 7803 1326 / 07801 194139

Lynne McDowell, BPI communications consultant / 07763 619709

Notes to editors:

* The period covered by sales data is January 2015 to the end of October 2015.

About the BPI

The BPI was formed in 1973 and is a representative voice of the UK recorded music business. It promotes recorded music in the UK and worldwide and champions the rights of the music community. Its membership is made up of hundreds of independent music labels and the UK’s three major record companies, which collectively account for around 85 per cent of the recorded music consumed in the UK – the world’s fourth largest music market.

The BPI administers the iconic Platinum, Gold and Silver Awards Programme and co-owns the Official Charts with the retailers’ association ERA. The BPI owns and organises the annual BRIT Awards, and is now also home to the Mercury Prize. Substantial proceeds from the BRIT Awards events go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated over £15m to charitable causes, including The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy since its foundation in 1989.

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