Streaming grows for sixth straight year as Brits turn to music during lockdown

Music has helped people get through lockdown, with streaming growing for a sixth straight year in 2020, according to new figures.

There were 139 billion audio streams, up by more than a fifth, while 155 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed or bought, an 8.2% rise, the record labels association British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.

Nearly 200 artists were streamed more than 100 million times.

The popularity of the medium has led to calls for companies to offer singers and musicians a greater share of the profits during the pandemic.

Sir Paul McCartney¬†became the latest star to highlight the issue, saying “they probably don’t pay enough. But (the platforms are) in such a powerful position. What can people do?”.

Streaming now accounts for 80% of UK music consumption, although vinyl and cassette sales have continued to grow.

Homegrown talent enjoyed a good year, with UK artists Lewis Capaldi, Harry Styles and Dua Lipa accounting for eight of the top 10 albums in the UK.