Australia Remains 4th Largest Market For UK Recorded Music

10 July 2023 | 3:18 pm | Christie Eliezer

Australia generated 16.7 percent of the industry’s revenue, worth £31.1 million (AUD $59.6 million), and retained its position as the UK’s fourth biggest music market.

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Australia’s longtime love affair with UK music intensified in 2022, reports the London-based BPI (British Phonographic Industry) this week.

Australia generated 16.7 percent of the industry’s revenue, worth £31.1 million (AUD $59.6 million), and retained its position as the UK’s fourth biggest music market. This growth followed an 8.5 percent rise to £26.7 million ($51.2 million) in 2021.

The United States remains the biggest consumer of UK music, up 27.6 percent to £291.8 million ($560 million) in 2022. The second biggest market, was Germany up 4.1 percent to £58.1 million ($111.5 million), while France generated revenue of £42.5 million ($81.5 million) in third place.

It is notable that Australia retained its fourth-place ranking for a second year, given the competition it faces. For instance, Canada’s spot – fifth place – grew by 30 percent, while Italy at grew at an 18.3 percent rate to land at #18. India, which is in the Top 20, had the biggest growth, up 130 percent from two years ago. Streaming has also seen UK music reach and grow in emerging music markets like the Middle East (up 59 percent), Africa (48 percent) and Latin America (38 percent). 

The value of UK’s music sales and streams outside the home market grew a record amount in 2022, leaping by 20 percent to £709 million ($1.36 billion). That was an expansion of £100 million ($191. 9 million) within a 12-month period.

More than 400 British artists notched up over 100 million audio streams, but the heavy lifting was done by Harry Styles, Glass Animals, Elton John and Dua Lipa, and Ed Sheeran.

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Styles’ As It Was was the most streamed track in the world, debuting with 43.8 million streams, making it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most-streamed track by a male artist on Spotify within 24 hours (16 million), and breaking the Apple Music streaming record for most first-day streams of a 2022 release. It reached #1 in over 20 countries, including Australia (where it was certified eight-times Platinum for sales of 560,000) and the US (where it sold six million copies).

Also cranking well in Australia was Glass Animals’ Heatwaves, with seven weeks at #1 on the ARIA chart, and certified Platinum an astounding 15 times for over one million sales. The PNAU remix of Elton John and Dua Lipa’s Cold Heart also charted at #1 for ten consecutive weeks, and collected eight Platinum certifications for ticking over 490,000 units. And Ed Sheeran’s Shivers reached #2, while sales of 560,000 gave him eight Platinum certifications.

Other notable British successes here have included Adele, Coldplay, Kate Bush and Sam Smith.

Also notable: British tracks make up from 25 percent to 28 percent of airplay on Australian commercial radio. Connections by promoters and labels with UK counterparts means acts such as Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Glass Animals were breaking in Australia at the same as their home market. 

At the same time, the UK is the second-largest export market for Australian music, after the US, based on royalty income. 32 Aussie acts have topped the UK charts since 1965, when The Seekers I'll Never Find Another You took the honours. Since then, the list has included Men At Work, Madison Avenue, Tones And I, 5 Seconds Of Summer and Iggy Azalea.

BPI’s 2022 figures show that the organisation is on track for music exports to reach £1 billion ($1.91 billion) each year by the end of this decade.

The UK government has, through the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS), supported getting British music to the world. This year it tripled its funding to the scheme by a total of £3.2 million ($6.14 million) over the next two years.

Sophie Jones, BPI chief strategy officer and interim chief executive, said: “These record export numbers by UK labels represent an exceptional achievement in the face of unprecedented competition on the global music stage, both from long-established and rapidly-expanding new music markets. They put us on course to reach our goal of £1 billion in annual UK music exports by the end of the decade.

“But for this growth to continue the UK needs to remain a supportive environment for investment in music, and policy makers should continue to work with industry to maximise the overseas potential of UK music.”

UK artists have, in recent years, been estimated to account for around one in ten streams around the world.