London - Britons are now streaming twice as much music online as they were a year ago thanks to the rise of smartphones and tablets, figures have shown.
This means that online music streaming now accounts for at least 10 percent of record industry revenue, with sales hitting £1-billion over the past 12 months.
Subscription-based services such as Spotify and Deezer offer music fans the chance to listen to as many songs as they like in return for a monthly fee – although they aren’t able to download and keep the music.
According to figures compiled by the Official Charts Company and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), 7.4 billion tracks were streamed in 2013, up from 3.7 billion the year before.
The increase has come at the expense of CD sales which dropped by 12.8 percent over the past year.
But surprisingly vinyl records saw a strong revival, selling just over 780 000 albums – double the amount sold in 2012. This is the largest annual total since 1997 when 817 000 vinyl albums were bought.
Commenting on the figures, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “The success of digital music in 2013 surpassed all previous records.
“We celebrated the billionth track download, counted four different million-selling digital singles and streamed more than 7 billion songs.
“As digital music moves into the streaming era, the prospects for future growth in the UK music market look strong.”
And Mark Foster, managing director of Deezer UK and Ireland, said: “It’s been a monumental year for British music and for streaming services.
“We have witnessed a surge in demand in the UK as people have caught on to the fact that they can enjoy a huge catalogue of music, anywhere and on whatever device suits their lifestyle.” - Daily Mail