According to research by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), legal music streaming has grown by 80% in the past six months. The news will come as a relief to industry professionals at a time when sales of traditional music media, such as CDs, is continuing to decline.
The Album Equivalent Sales (AES) measuring system, whichcombines sales of music across physical and digital formats, showsan overall growth in music purchases of 4% compared with the firsthalf of 2014.
UK music fans stream 480 million tracks a week on legalplatforms, though download sales have fallen, with digital albumsales down 6.6%.
The big driver of future growth is likely to be Apple Music, theIndustry says, the introduction of which would suggest that evenbigger numbers can be expected over the next six months.
BPI CEO, Geoff Taylor, stated: "The precise impact of AppleMusic in 2015 is hard to predict, but UK labels have reinventedtheir businesses for a multi-channel world, are investing heavilyin talent, and are offering fans greater choice and value than everbefore."
Increasingly generous data allowances in broadband packagescould also be a factor in the growth of music sales, as peoplebecome more confident about how much streaming they can do withoutexceeding their data limits.
The most popular track so far this year has been 'Uptown Funk'by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, which has been played 45 milliontimes.
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