UK music acts enjoyed their highest share of global album sales in recent years during 2014, accouting for one in seven of all albums sold worldwide.

Performers from the UK achieved 13.7 per cent worldwide share by value of album sales, up from 13 per cent in 2013, and 11.8 per cent in 2010, according to a report from the BPI, the music industry body.

Five of the top 10 global albums were from UK acts including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Pink Floyd and Sam Smith. The Anglo-Australian band, AC/DC, also made the top 10.

UK acts perfomed strongly in the key US market, accounting for 12.2 per cent of US album sales or almost $600m of revenue. The UK also did well in Australia (22.4 per cent share), Italy, (19.6 per cent),  Canada (15.3 per cent), Germany (14.2 per cent), and Sweden (14 per cent).

According to data from the IFPI international organisation, the top 10 global recording artists in 2014 were:

1. Taylor Swift (USA) - 1989

2. One Direction (UK) - Four

3. Ed Sheeran (UK) - X

4. Coldplay (UK) - Ghost Stories

5. AC/DC (Australia/UK) - Rock or Bust

6. Michael Jackson (USA) - Xscape

7. Pink Floyd (UK) - The Endless River

8. Sam Smith (UK) - In The Lonely Hour

9. Katy Perry (USA) - Prism

10. Beyoncé (USA) - Beyoncé

These positions are based on IFPI rankings which count worldwide album sales - including both physical and digital formats, track sales and streams.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Sajid Javid MP, commented: “These record figures are fantastic news and show the enormous demand for UK music all around the world.”

BPI and BRIT Awards Chief Executive, Geoff Taylor, comments: "Music is a tremendous exports success story for the UK – all around the world, fans are listening to the records we produce, supporting not only our balance of trade but a positive image for Britain overseas."

For more information, visit the BPI website here.


Published: June 4, 2015.