Music streaming up 700 per cent in 2012, says Universal UK boss

Music streaming up 700 per cent in this year, says Universal UK boss
Streams were at just 1.1 billion tracks in 2011

The growing popularity of internet music services like Spotify has sent the number of streamed tracks up by almost 700 per cent in the UK.

In an interview with The Guardian, David Joseph, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music UK and Ireland revealed that over 7.5 billion tracks have been streamed this year.

During the whole of 2011 only 1.1 billion tracks were streamed through the likes of Spotify, Deezer and, representing a seismic shift in the way Brits are consuming music.

The Guardian points out that another 250 billion songs have been viewed through YouTube this year.

Break on through

The streaming figures are juxtaposed with Joseph's concerns about the falling number of UK breakthrough artists (defined by 100,000 album sales) this year.

Nine new acts (potentially rising to 12 or 13) attained the 100,000 mark in 2012, according to Joseph, falling from 19 in 2011. Are the higher streaming numbers affecting album sales?

Joseph said: "There are two or three more acts to break but it doesn't look like reaching 19," claiming 20+ is the expected norm.

"Considering this is our lifeblood it is of concern to us, and something we focus on every day," he added.

Despite the concerns over breakthrough acts, singles sales in the UK are, this year, at the highest level this century, according to the UK's Official Charts, buoyed by improved digital download figures.

Via Musically

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.