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Business News (more headlines) 08-02-2014

British Music Continues To Dominate At Home And Fly The Flag Abroad

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British artists continued to dominate the music landscape last year, a BPI analysis for its 2014 yearbook reveals, accounting for 8 of the UK's top 10 best-selling artist albums and claiming a 52 per cent share of the albums market overall, the same percentage as in 2012.

At the same time, 13 per cent of all global artist album sales in 2013 were by British artists – or put another way they were responsible for one in every eight albums sold around the world last year.

Leading the charge were One Direction, who proved they were the biggest act in the world in 2013. Their third studio album Midnight Memories was not only the UK's biggest seller, but it also topped the year-end global albums chart, selling 4m copies around the world in just six weeks. The band's success means British artists have now accounted for the top-selling global album in six of the last seven years.

UK Album Sales by Nationality

Following One Direction's Midnight Memories as the best-selling artist album in the UK in 2013 was Emeli Sandé's Our Version of Events, which has now sold over 2m copies in the UK since its release in February 2012. Michael Bublé's To Be Loved, at No.3, was the top selling album by an international artist, while Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox at No.6 was the only other top-10 title by a non-British artist. The rest of the top 10 comprised albums by Robbie Williams, Olly Murs, Rod Stewart, Arctic Monkeys, Gary Barlow and Ellie Goulding. There were also big breakthroughs from Bastille, Rudimental and Passenger, who all made the year's top 20 list.

The share accrued by US artists in the UK fell slightly, to 33.8 per cent (from 34.2 per cent in 2012), with only three stateside acts making the top 20. Strong demand for albums by Michael Bublé, Celine Dion and Drake helped ensure an improved share for Canada, while albums by Boyzone, The Script and Kodaline helped keep Ireland's steady at 1.8 per cent. France's percentage of sales was buoyed by a strong showing from Daft Punk, and André Rieu and Caro Emerald helped boost the Netherlands' profile. Sweden's share reached a five-year high thanks in part to new titles by Avicii and Agnetha Fältskog, both of which charted in the UK artist albums top 100 for the year.

BPI's Gennaro Castaldo comments: "For home-grown talent to have recorded the world's biggest-selling album six out of the last seven years is a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world, especially taking into account the fact that one in every eight albums sold globally are by UK artists. Aside from the obvious contribution to British exports, this success underlines the vital role that our music and artists play in promoting the appeal of British culture around the world."

British Music Around the World - One Direction and Mumford and Sons lead British contingent

For the sixth time in seven years the biggest selling artist album globally was by a British act. One Direction's Midnight Memories sold 4m copies during the period between its release at the end of November and year end, just beating Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 to the global top spot. A quarter of the top 40 albums were by British performers, with albums by Mumford & Sons, Adele and Robbie Williams all featuring in the global top 20 and new releases from Black Sabbath, Depeche Mode and David Bowie topping various national charts. Bastille's Bad Blood was the biggest selling 2013 debut by a UK act, just missing out on a top 40 position in the worldwide chart.

British music remains truly international in its appeal. Those enjoying top five album success in Australia included Rudimental, Disclosure, James Blake and Birdy, while Foals and Bring Me the Horizon scored number ones. Gabrielle Aplin and The Wanted both charted well in Japan's Hot 100 (the latter being one of the few international acts to top it), while the all-conquering One Direction topped the charts from Mexico to Taiwan.

The share of sales claimed by UK artists dipped slightly in North America in 2013, after an outstanding performance in 2012, although Mumford & Sons' Babel enjoyed another solid year, the album's sales boosted by a Grammy win for Best Album. One Direction's Midnight Memories made history in December by ensuring the band were the first ever to debut at No.1 in the US with their first three albums, and sold over half a million copies in its first week on sale. Another 2013 release, Black Sabbath's 13, gave the iconic Metal band their first ever Billboard 200 No.1, and was one of eight titles by British acts to make the year-end top 100. Both Mumford & Sons and One Direction made the year-end albums top 10 in Canada (at four and 10), with artists such as Bullet For My Valentine, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Franz Ferdinand all tasting top 10 success on the weekly chart.

In Europe, UK artists' share of sales was highest in the Netherlands, where it accounted for just under 20 per cent. The combined share of British artists' album sales rose to 17.9 per cent in Germany, a three year high. Placed at No.2 in the year-end chart, Robbie Williams's Swings Both Ways made No.1 on the weekly chart – his eighth consecutive release to do so. Depeche Mode's Delta Machine also made the year-end top 10, topping the weekly chart in March.

Few territories were impervious to the charms of One Direction, with Midnight Memories topping the chart in many European markets, including Norway, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Greece. There was a plethora of acts enjoying great success, with several taking No.1 spots.

David Bowie's triumphant return with The Next Day took pole in over 10 European markets, a feat repeated by Depeche Mode's Delta Machine. Tom Odell, Editors, Arctic Monkeys, James Blunt, Sting and Deep Purple also scored No.1 European albums along with Black Sabbath's 13.

Passenger's Let Her Go single was one of the global hits of the year, making the top spot in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland among other countries, while Olly Murs, James Arthur and Naughty Boy were also among those to taste number one success in various singles charts.

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