Ed Sheeran and One Direction help British music net highest percentage of global sales yet

This equated to 13.7 per cent of global sales and stood as the highest British share since the BPI began recording figures in 2000. The percentage for 2014 was 13.

The numbers were boosted by the likes of Sam Smith and Pink Floyd – both contributed albums that made the top ten list of the biggest-sellers worldwide for the year.

While an American topped the list of global recording artists – Taylor Swift took the number one position – the second and third places were filled by One Direction and Ed Sheeran. Of the top ten, five were British acts.

The figures considered album sales, track sales as well as streams. Swift’s 1989 album sold six million copies according to BPI’s Music Market 2015 report.

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The report analyses changes in music consumption across the UK. According to the BPI streaming has doubled in Britain during 2014.

Ed Sheeran’s X was the highest-placed UK album, selling 4.4m units, followed by Coldplay’s Ghost Stories with 3.7m, Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour selling 3.5m, One Direction’s Four with 3.2m and Pink Floyd’s The Endless River with 2.5m.

Sales of British albums rose across countries including Australia, Sweden, Canada and Italy, as well as the important US market. The UK’s share of the US market was up to 12.2 per cent from 10.4 per cent in 2013.

BPI estimated that the global retail value of British recorded music, including singles and albums, totalled $2.75bn for 2014, marking a five per cent increase on 2013’s $2.62bn.

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Geoff Taylor, BPI’s chief executive, said: “The achievements of UK albums and labels in 2014 were truly outstanding.”

He added that their presence at home was impressive – Brits accounted for over half of all albums sold in the UK and for the first time since the report was compiled, all ten of the best-selling artist albums were by British acts.

“They dominated sales at home like never before, releasing all of the top ten best-selling artist albums of 2014, while climbing higher than ever in the charts overseas”, Taylor said.

Other UK artists making an impact abroad include James Blunt in Germany and Paloma Faith in Australia.

Taylor suggested this reflected that the UK has been established as a “creative powerhouse”, with music a “tremendous exports success story”. He added that across the world, fans were listening to British music “supporting not only our balance of trade, but a positive image for Britain overseas”.

Image: Shutterstock

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