Around 50,000 songs per minute were streamed in the UK in 2015, as music fans swapped CDs and downloads for listening to their favourite bands online.

A record 26.8 billion songs were streamed last year, new figures show – a jump of 82% on 2014.

Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson (Matt Sayles/AP/Press Association Images)
Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson (Matt Sayles/AP/Press Association Images)


Geoff Taylor, head of UK music industry body the BPI, said the surge in streaming was due to the success of services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

“More people are discovering how wonderful it is to have all the music in the world to listen to, whenever and wherever you want,” he added.

Music Streaming (PA)
Music Streaming (PA)


Almost a quarter of all music consumed in the UK in 2015 was done so through audio streaming, up from one-eighth in 2014.

Vinyl also enjoyed a rise in popularity, with sales up 64% to a 21-year high.

Downloads of albums fell by 14%, however, while sales of CDs – still the most popular format in the country – dropped by 4%.



UK stars such as Adele and Mark Ronson were among those driving the streaming boom.

Hello by Adele was played 7.3 million times in the UK during its first week of release, while Ronson’s Uptown Funk, released in November 2014, received around 65 million streams.

The most streamed track of the year was Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) by OMI, which had nearly 72 million plays.

Total music consumption in the UK increased by around 4% in 2015.

This corresponds to a retail value of £1.1 billion.

Responding to the findings, BPI boss Geoff Taylor said: “The soaring popularity of music streaming and the burgeoning vinyl revival mean that UK music consumption rose again in 2015.

“Yet again it’s UK artists who are driving this growth and inspiring the fans – at home and across the planet – with their award-winning song-writing and performances, whether it’s global icons such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and One Direction, or recent British breakthroughs and newcomers like Jess Glynne, Little Mix and James Bay.”

Ed Sheeran at the American Institute for Stuttering's 9th Annual Freeing Voices Changing Lives Gala.
(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)


Sales of vinyl have risen steadily since 2012, when they dipped to 400,000. The total for 2015 was 2.1 million.

The biggest-selling vinyl release in 2015 was Adele’s album 25, followed by Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album Back to Black and the Stone Roses’ self-titled debut album from 1989.

Figures also show that if streaming through music video sites were added to the number of audio streams, the combined total for streams in 2015 would top 50 billion.

If you are interested in music streaming, but not sure if it's right for you check out our article: Downloading music VS streaming music: Which one is best of you?