Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

Streaming as soon as once more helped to ship important market development within the UK throughout 2022. 

Within the newest version of Music Week, our market evaluation takes in the principle tendencies with key insights from execs together with Charles Wooden, VP of market planning and gross sales at Sony Music UK.

Sony Music label RCA, headed by president David Dollimore and EVP Stacey Tang, was as soon as once more the No.1 streaming label of the yr. RCA had success in 2022 with Cat Burns (alongside Since ’93) in addition to albums from Little Combine, Beyonce, Doja Cat and Sza, whose digital-only SOS LP continues to be a streaming smash in 2023.

“The RCA staff are unbelievable at maximising the potential of each launch and have a elementary understanding that streaming’s lengthy tail means partaking followers for the lengthy haul,” Wooden advised Music Week.

When it comes to the general market powered by DSPs, the BPI reported development of 8.2% to 159 billion audio streams within the UK final yr. However there are actually financial challenges in addition to the pure limits to market penetration.

“The UK streaming market continues to mature, which implies we see a a lot wider number of folks utilising streaming platforms, and it’s fascinating to see how consumption tastes shift as streaming has entered the true mainstream,” stated Wooden. “Regardless of the exterior financial challenges customers are going through, streaming gives unbelievable worth for cash and offers you just about all of the music on the planet. The streaming market continues to develop, however we will’t ignore the truth that we’re a mature market and consequently, development is slower for us than some growing markets.”

Primarily based on Official Charts Firm figures, Columbia-signed Harry Types had each the No.1 single of the yr (As It Was – 1,573,672 gross sales in 2022) and No.1 album (Harry’s Home – 460,432).

“At Sony Music all the things begins with the artist – and that’s very true with an artist like Harry,” stated Wooden. “He’s a famous person. Not solely by way of the music he creates, however his wider inventive imaginative and prescient – all of which fuels his marketing campaign. Visuals, dwell exhibits the codecs, pop up retailers – all of it stems from him. 

“He additionally has an extremely loyal and devoted fanbase. He and his staff actually worth that fandom – so it was all the time necessary to ensure they had been catered to and felt part of the Harry’s Home marketing campaign. Fan-first initiatives had been a key element, by means of a powerful CRM marketing campaign and the Harry’s Home web site, which took followers on a journey of clues at completely different levels of the marketing campaign and stored the followers engaged and energised.” 

Music is neither outlined nor restricted by its age – the alternatives are boundless

Charles Wooden

In addition to having the No.1 album of 2022 along with his third LP, Types’ affect with each streaming and bodily music ensured that catalogue had a powerful presence. 2019’s Advantageous Line was No.16 general (163,595), whereas his self-titled debut was at No.64 (84,537).

In truth, titles 18 months or older claimed seven out of the High 10 albums of 2022. Primarily based on the OCC’s All Music All Albums market metric, Sony Music Industrial Group was the largest of the catalogue-based UK labels, and it elevated streaming consumption by 14% year-on-year in comparison with 8% market development.

Wooden stated the change to a music consumption mannequin is a pure alternative.

“The time period catalogue shouldn’t be one thing we establish with any extra – it originated within the days when gross sales reps visited shops with catalogue of older releases that had been usually offered at a reduction,” he defined.

“Music is now universally out there, discoverable and shareable. [Sony Music] Industrial Group construct campaigns for an artist’s repertoire round their relevance not their recency. Any variety of issues can recontextualise an older hit or break a hidden gem. These can range from tracks exploding out of tendencies on social media, celebratory moments round anniversaries and milestones or massive cultural occasions like Christmas and excursions. 

“Operating alongside this in addition they develop complete, long-running plans for iconic artists with tentpole components round lavish reissues catering for each hard-core followers and informal customers alike. And, after all, in addition they assist with artists returning with new music by re-engaging followers with earlier recordings and bringing in a brand new viewers, if potential, to listen to the classics earlier than new music is dropped. It’s an thrilling world the place music is neither outlined nor restricted by its age – and the alternatives are boundless.”

In fact, TikTok has develop into a key a part of that course of, each for brand spanking new music and established hits. The video sharing app helped Tom Odell attain the High 10 with 2012 single One other Love (Columbia) at the start of this yr.

“Tik Tok is one other platform for discovery with many customers utilizing it as a way to seek out music,” stated Wooden. “Music is about moments, and social media platforms create new moments and associations with music on daily basis – they’re key instruments in surfacing these hidden gems or recontextualising older hits. In addition they present us how music connects completely different teams, and we will see how tendencies transfer throughout completely different fandoms and join with completely different folks in numerous methods.  

“When it comes to inventive affect – these platforms additionally enable artists to attach with their followers in a really intimate method. There’s a tighter suggestions loop between artist and followers than we’ve ever seen earlier than – with followers usually consulted on the inventive course of.”

It’s important that we take a really centered strategy to persevering with to take a position closely in rising British expertise

Charles Wooden

Wooden stated the outlook for the yr by way of expertise is powerful with “unbelievable new artists… already hotly tipped by media and our gross sales companions”, together with Venbee, Katie Gregson-MacLeod, Biig Piig, Mimi Webb and Cat Burns.

“We even have sensible new music from returning artists together with Tom Grennan, Pleasure Crookes and Carry Me The Horizon,” he added. “The primary solo music venture from Jade Thirlwall can be vastly anticipated.” 

Nonetheless, the largest problem for a UK breakthrough act is taking that to the worldwide degree to attain the form of success that Harry Types managed in 2022. 

“The UK has all the time been a big cultural and financial exporter,” stated Wooden. “It’s simple for folks to see the worldwide superstars Britain produces, however there’s not all the time sufficient recognition of the monetary dedication and time, effort and vitality that goes into executing every artist marketing campaign. 

‘Over the previous few years, following the pandemic and return to ‘regular’ life – we’ve seen some fascinating developments for UK artists breaking globally. However the pandemic, and its aftermath, additionally highlighted the significance of fostering native fanbases – dwell music and constructing these direct relationships with followers was that lacking piece that all of us felt throughout 2020 and 2021. Seeing artists again on tour, interacting straight with these followers, exhibits us how a lot folks nonetheless crave these face-to-face interactions.” 

For Wooden, “dwell is so usually the place folks construct these necessary recollections” of experiencing a big music second.

“It’s a aggressive surroundings lately,” he added. “It’s important that we take a really centered strategy to persevering with to take a position closely in rising British expertise and growing bespoke plans for all our artists. Once more – it all the time begins with the artists – every is exclusive, as would be the alternatives and challenges for them.”

Subscribers can learn our market evaluation report from the brand new version of Music Week right here.


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