HITS Daily Double
Blighty Beat

The U.K. independent sector’s marketshare rose for the third year in a row in 2020 to hit 25.9%, according to stats from the BPI and AIM. This is partly due to claiming four #1 albums from BTS, Gerry Cinnamon, IDLES and Kylie.

Since 2018, the British independent sector has added 1.9% to its share of album equivalent sales, rising from 24% across three years. Between 2019 and 2020, its share rose by 0.9%. Indies’ share of streaming equivalent albums (SEA) has also risen during that time, from 23.8% in 2018, to 24% in 2019, and 24.5% in 2020.

Alongside top-charting albums, the rise is also attributed to the popularity of independent releases on physical formats. Independents’ highest format share in 2020 was on vinyl LP (35%) and the sector claimed close to 30% of all CD sales, rising to 32.5% in Q1 this year. In the first three months of 2021, independent artists claimed nearly four in every 10 vinyl LPs purchased in the U.K. (39.8%).

On streaming services, independently released tracks by artists such as AJ Tracey, Trevor Daniel and Endor were among the 100 most-played songs in the U.K. in 2020. Independent acts such as Central Cee, KSI, BTS and Tom Zanetti have charted in the Top 100 in 2021 and in Q1 this year, the independent sector’s share of SEA continued to rise, up to 25.8%.

In addition to claiming four #1 albums last year (the biggest tally since 2017), 52 independent albums made the weekly Official Albums Chart Top 10 (again, the biggest number since 2017). This success has continued into Q1 2021 with three independent acts making it to #1: You Me At Six (Suckapunch), Mogwai (As The Love Continues) and Architects (For Those That Wish To Exist).