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The Playlist beats the Album

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Florian Zandt

Physical sales of music on CDs and vinyl have been declining in the UK for years in favour of digital solutions like streaming and music downloads. Even an unprecedented rise of vinyl sales, up 13 percent in 2020 compared to last year according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), can't stop the trend towards Spotify playlists and MP3s.

As the chart shows, two thirds of UK residents haven't listened to music on hard copies like CDs and vinyl at all in 2020, while a quarter spend between one and five hours in front of a turntable or a CD player. Although listening to music as a whole hasn't been as important to people in the United Kingdom, nearly 33 percent of respondents listened to more than six hours of music via digital services, which translates to roughly an hour a day. Continuing reports about the unsustainable business model of streaming giants like Spotify for any artist below superstar levels of fame aside: The digital revolution is here to stay.

The revenue splits of music sales in the UK paint the same picture: Only 17.5 percent of the total revenue of rougly 1,5 billion British Pounds in 2020 was earned with sales of physical goods.

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