BPI reveals how lockdown changed the UK's listening habits

BPI reveals how lockdown changed the UK's listening habits

UK record labels association, the BPI, has released new data today that shows the impact music had on the UK throughout the 2020 lockdowns, and particularly the increase in music listening across Britain to aid in wellness, motivation and escapism.

It is based on data commissioned by AudienceNet’s Audiomonitor survey in November 2020, and is taken from the 42nd edition of the BPI’s Yearbook, All About The Music 2021, which will be released next Wednesday (April 14).

From the data, new insights have been revealed that 28% of survey participants said they have listened to more music compared to life before lockdown, and only 11% of those surveyed said they have listened to less or no music at all. These results are in line with the BPI market update (January 4) that saw recorded music consumption increased by 8.2% in the UK in 2020, as 155 million albums or equivalent were streamed or purchased by music fans (including 139 billion audio streams, 16 million CDs, almost 5 million vinyl LPs, and over 150,000 cassettes).

At the end of 2020 the BPI reported the most consumed new releases of the year according to OCC data. Of these releases were Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, which was the most consumed album, released in 2020; Kylie Minogue’s Disco was the most purchased 2020 vinyl release; Lady Gaga’s Chromatica was the biggest selling cassette and The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights was the most consumed single of the year.

Overall the data found a trend in music contributing to the wellbeing of listeners as 50% of respondents listened to music to raise spirits; 94% stated it helped to lift their mood; 78% felt more motivated (this rose to 81% among women); 61% used music to exercise for longer durations, and 91% said listening to music gave them a sense of escapism from their problems.

In the age group of 16-24 year olds; 45% said their music listening was up during the first lockdown, 50% said music helped boost concentration when studying, and 60% said music eased feelings of stress and anxiety.

Speaking on the new data, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, Geoff Taylor, said: “Music has many intrinsic additional benefits, not least in raising spirits and promoting wellbeing, but this new research underscores just how much of a lifeline it’s been for people since lockdown – inspiring and reassuring us and also helping many of us to work, study and exercise to greater effect. The transformational power of music to improve lives has rarely been more pronounced.”

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