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INDIE SECTOR RISES FOR SIXTH YEAR
4/16/24

Independently released music claimed 29.2% of U.K. recorded music consumption in 2023, up from 28.6% in 2022 and nearly a third higher than in 2017, according to figures from the BPI.

Last year was the sixth consecutive year of growth, when using the Album Equivalent Sales metric (AES), for the British indie sector. Figures come from the BPI’s recently published yearbook, All About The Music 2024.

According to BPI analysis based on Official Charts data, more than 60 albums released by independent labels made the weekly Top 10 of the Official Albums Chart in 2023. These included seven chart-topping releases by rapper Ren, rock bands Enter Shikari and The Reytons (pictured) and Kylie Minogue.

Other Top 10 albums came from rapper Casisdead, singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, pop star Claire Richards and punk rock veterans The Damned.

Independent successes on the Official Singles Chart last year included a #1 hit for record-breaking BRITs winner RAYE and Top 10 entries for Central Cee and Bugzy Malone & Teedee.

There was an even greater presence for the independent sector in the physical music market, which counted for 35% of all album sales in 2023. Nearly four in every 10 (39.1%) vinyl LP bought was an independent product, with more than 200 indie titles selling at least 1.5k copies last year. Independent releases made up nearly one-third (32.8%) of CDs sold in 2023.

Other insights from the yearbook include vinyl sales rising in 2023 for a 16th consecutive year. That's partly attributed to the rising popularity of pop releases: The genre’s share of vinyl sales lifted to 23.7% from 19.6% in 2022, headed by releases from Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Lewis Capaldi.

Hip-hop grew its share of the vinyl market to 5.3% in 2023, led by a re-issue of De La Soul’s 1989 debut, 3 Feet High and Rising (Chrysalis), although rock remained comfortably the biggest genre with a 55.5% share. That’s reflected by the 10 biggest-selling vinyl artists of 2023, Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles and Pink Floyd.