A new report conducted by the BPI, and produced in association with Disrupt Media and the Official Charts Company, has evaluated the position of grime within wider British music. As part of the analysis, the report reveals that grime sales and streams nearly doubled to outperform the market, with the genre being successful in performing on all album formats - including physical and downloads - but with a special emphasis on streaming. The report asserts that “grime now enjoys a healthy 1.6% share of music consumption when compared to other genres.”
One of the collaborative report's key findings is that when grime tracks and albums released in the UK between May 2016 and 2017 are converted into the industry standard AES metric, the genre’s “2 million-plus AES total represented a remarkable 93% rise in consumption – compared to an increase of 6% for the market overall”. Key releases by Skepta, Stormzy, Kano, Krept & Konan, Giggs, Bugzy Malone, and JME were all cited as being crucial to the uplift.
Additionally, the report highlights that grime is currently bucking the trend for downloads of digital albums, with a 27% drop in the overall number of albums downloaded between May 2016 – 2017 being offset by grime seeing a 51% rise. BPI estimates that physical and digital sales of albums that could be classed as grime totalled almost 410,000 in the 12 months ending May 4, 2017.
Streaming of single tracks has also been marked as particularly significant to grime. While downloads of individual grime songs fell at a faster rate than in the wider market (-27% vs. -24%), plays of grime tracks grew by 138% on streaming services (compared to 61% elsewhere).
The overall picture emerging from the report is that grime’s share of all AES nearly doubled from 0.9% to 1.6% between May 2016 and 2017 - equivalent to just over 2m albums.
Commenting on the report, Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: “Grime is a uniquely British phenomenon which has exerted a powerful underground influence for more than a decade but is now also making a real impact in the charts and on the mainstream of British music. It’s not only helping to shape domestic consumption and trends, it is becoming a flag-bearer for Britain’s global reputation as a hub of musical innovation.”
Matt Thorne, co-founder, Disrupt Media & Rated Awards, added: “From the dark times of file-sharing to the days of iTunes, where artists were striving to break a pirate mentality from fans, streaming has opened up grime's core fandom and allowed for exponential growth of the genre to transcend culture far and wide.”
You can read the full report here.