Rock up: Guitar music grows physical music share

Rock up: Guitar music grows physical music share

The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that rock is on the up. For the 12-week period up to January 13, the genre increased its share of physical sales to 37% - its highest share for five years.

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody OST played a big part in rock’s rise to the three-month period. Kantar Worldpanel said that it moved 140,000 physical copies over that period.

The soundtrack to the BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning film has sales to date of 274,849, according to the Official Charts Company. Physical sales total 157,580. Queen also performed strongly on streaming in Q4.

Muse’s Simulation Theory was also a solid performer in the sales period. It has sales to date of 84,954, including 60,750 physical copies.

Bring Me The Horizon could help rock maintain its momentum in 2019, following the No.1 sales for sixth album Amo.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel results also noted the appeal of soundtracks and the success of both Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born in the three months to mid-January.

However, it was a tough quarter overall for physical music. HMV went into administration after Christmas, though it has since been saved by Sunrise Records.

But even during its troubles HMV did find areas of growth and managed to double its online share of the music market, according to Kantar Worldpanel. 

It’s clear there’s a massive appetite for fans to support their favourite artists through physical sales

Giulia Barresi

Giulia Barresi, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “HMV has another chance at redemption and there are cues it can take from the independent sector. Smaller, independent stores now account for more than one of every £10 spent on physical music, a 12.5% increase on three years ago, with shoppers clearly looking for more personal experiences when browsing music.

“One in ten physical music items bought is now a vinyl record, as customers hone in on sound quality and overall experience as they shop. Artists’ websites are also showing strong growth, and while their overall share of music is still small, it’s clear there’s a massive appetite for fans to support their favourite artists through physical sales. HMV will hope that people behind its new owners Sunrise Records can use their indie roots to heighten the bespoke experience it offers in-store and keep attracting music fans to the high street.”

There are also signs that supermarkets are losing out in physical entertainment sales, with a year-on-year decline in their share of gaming sales from 61.5% to 49.7%. Music Week has already reported on the diminishing space for music in supermarkets.

Barresi said: “Consumers really value the trend-led, up-to-the minute offer which specialists provide, and supermarkets need to find a way to replicate this feeling.  Entertainment aisles which don’t feel completely up to speed with the hottest new releases won’t attract footfall. It’s important for grocers to show that they too are specialists who understand the sector – whether that’s by giving space to accompanying merchandise or stocking a wider range of games.”

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