Media release: BPI publishes ‘All About The Music 2020′


THE BPI’s annual yearbook, All About the Music 2020, gives a detailed insight into the year in UK recorded music in 2019 through lots of facts, figures and informed analysis.

Written and compiled by Rob Crutchley and edited by Chris Green, and featuring an introduction by BPI CEO, Geoff Taylor, this 41st edition of the BPI’s authorative industry yearbook evaluates UK music consumption and trends in 2019 over 80 pages.

It is presented in six major sections covering the size and value of the UK market, an analysis of sales and streams, a detailed breakdown of the market, consumer behaviour and demographics, a look at the retail sector, and how British music is performing in the world market (see Notes).

Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI and BRIT Awards, said: “From the superfan to the most casual of listeners, music plays an indispensable role in most British lives. This seeming near-ubiquity is not achieved without constant innovation and relentless record label investment in the next generation of diverse new talent that keeps British music riding high at home and around the world.

“Through Stormzy, Dave, AJ Tracey and others, UK rap is at a new critical and commercial peak and even though global competition for attention in the streaming age is fierce, artists such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Mabel, Rex Orange County and Lewis Capaldi have kept the profile of UK music high with their international chart success.

“This, in turn, builds on the platform for exciting new talent such as BRITs Rising Star Celeste and BRIT Awards nominees, Freya Ridings and Aitch, to join them.

“Music has a unique power to connect us all, even at a distance, to reduce feelings of isolation, and to cheer our hearts and to soothe our minds. This will be even more valuable in these troubled times.”

Rap and Hip Hop hit a new highpoint in 2019 driven by British rappers Rap hit a new highpoint in 2019, achieving record shares in terms of both singles and album consumption according to Official Charts Company data analysed and released today by record labels association, the BPI.

The analysis, compiled from both purchases and streams of albums and tracks, found that releases classified by the Official Charts Company as Rap/Hip Hop accounted for historically high shares in 2019.

In the singles market, releases from the genre comprised well over a fifth (21.5 per cent) of all consumption – up from 20.9 per cent in 2018, and a new high since the BPI began analysing the genre’s share in 1998.

Most remarkable is that in the five years from 2015 to 2019, UK artists’ share of Rap’s sales and streams increased from ten per cent to 26.9 per cent on albums and from 15.5 per cent to 42.2 per cent on singles.

James Walsh, general manager Neighbourhood Recordings – the label owned by Dave’s managers, Benny Scarrs and Jack Foster, and whom Dave releases on, said: “It’s great to see Rap at the heart of popular culture and to see how big its footprint has evolved and grown over the last few years.

“There’s so many talented British artists within the genre that are connecting with people of all backgrounds on their own terms, and that’s really powerful. Audiences today are very tuned in – artists who are the most authentic to themselves have shown time and time again that integrity in their message and music wins out.”

While American artists such as Post Malone and Lil Nas X were among those to have the biggest hits last year, UK talent really came to the fore: Stormzy achieved his first ever Official Singles Chart No.1 with Vossi Bop, and both AJ Tracey (Ladbroke Grove) and Aitch (Taste (Make It Shake)) made the top three. In addition, there were top ten hits for British artists such as Dave, Russ & Tion Wayne, Young T & Bugsey and Mist among others.

It was also a stellar year for UK rappers in the artist albums market, in which Rap/Hip Hop claimed a 10.8 per cent share. Stormzy took Glastonbury by storm with a triumphant headline slot, while his December-released second album Heavy Is The Head went on to give him another number one. There was also great success for Dave, commercially and critically – his debut Psychodrama went straight to No.1 on the Official Albums Chart on its release in March, and in September was awarded the Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.

Both Dave and Stormzy were recognised at the 2020 BRITs, with Dave picking up British Album of the Year and Stormzy honoured as British Male Solo Artist. They also gave memorable spectacular performances on the night, with the power of their message resonating well outside the domed walls of the O2.

Other UK artists enjoying top ten album success in 2019 included AJ Tracey (with his self-titled full-length debut, which reached number three), D-Block Europe (two top ten albums in 2019), Skepta, Mostack, Loyle Carner, Fredo, Slowthai, Kano and Krept & Konan.

There were also top ten placings for the American-born Post Malone (a No.1 album in September with Hollywood’s Bleeding), Tyler The Creator (winner of Best International Male Solo Artist at the 2020 BRIT Awards), Kanye West and NF.

Recent years have also seen a number of female artists achieve notable success in what has often been seen as a male-dominated genre.

UK performers such as Kate Tempest and Little Simz have had albums shortlisted for the Hyundai Mercury Prize (the latter making the shortlist with her 2019-released Grey Area), with Stefflon Don scoring Platinum singles with both Hurtin’ Me (with French Montana) and Boasty (with Wiley, Sean Paul and Idris Elba). US rapper Cardi B’s Invasion Of Privacy made the top five of the Official Albums Chart and one of the breakout stars of 2019,

Lizzo, has roots firmly in the Hip Hop/Rap scene, while artists such as Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat look set for great success in 2020. Hip Hop and Rap’s profile has not always been as prominent in the UK market – its share has been as low as 3.6 per cent in the singles market (in 1999) and 1.7 per cent in the albums market (1998). In the early-to-mid 2000s it enjoyed a rich seam of success, however, climbing to 13.7 per cent of singles sold and 6.4 per cent of albums in 2004 through artists such as Eminem, Outkast and The Streets.  Since then its share has fluctuated but its rise in recent years, including the resurgence of Grime, has been remarkable – its share of singles consumption in 2019 (21.5 per cent) is almost twice that recorded as recently as 2015 (11.0 per cent). In 2019 it was second only in the singles share table behind Pop (33.1 per cent), and third in the albums table, behind Rock (38.0 per cent) and Pop (27.5 per cent).

Early indications for Rap/Hip Hop in 2020 remain encouraging, with the genre landing three of the top ten albums of the first quarter – by Stormzy (Heavy Is The Head), Eminem (Music To Be Murdered By) and J Hus (Big Conspiracy).

‘ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC 2020′ is available free to all BPI members and regular media contacts, or it can be purchased from the BPI’s website: from Monday, 20th April 2020.



Gennaro Castaldo

Notes for editors:

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) –

The BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its
members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL.
The BPI’s membership consists of well over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three
‘majors’, which together account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music
consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world.

The BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub, Insight Sessions, WidsomWednesdays events, and reports. The BPI administers The BRIT Certified Awards, co-owns The Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and BRITs Week, and is also home to The Mercury Prize.

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