UK independent music sector on course to grow market share for fifth consecutive year

Indie labels’ share of the UK music market was 28.6 percent during the first 10 months of 2022, up from 26.9 percent for the whole of 2021.

Liam Konemann
  • By Liam Konemann
  • 14 Nov 2022
  • min read

New analysis from the BPI has found that independent record labels’ share of the UK recorded music market is on course to grow for a fifth consecutive year in 2022.

From January to October 2022, independently-released music made up 28.6 percent of the UK music market, up from 26.9 percent for the whole of 2021 and a 30 percent increase on 2017. Independent labels have seen particularly strong growth in the albums market, claiming 40.5 percent of all album sales during October 2022. This compares to a 32.2 percent share over the same month in 2021 and was led by Arctic Monkeys’ seventh studio album The Car. Released by Domino Recordings on 21st October, The Car surpassed 100,000 sales in its first two weeks of release.

Eight independent releases have topped the albums chart in 2022; Wet Leg’s self titled debut, Central Cee’s 23, Don Broco’s Amazing Things, Being Funny in a Foreign Language from The 1975, Oochya! by Stereophonics, The Wombats’ Fix Yourself, Not The World, and Fontaines D.C.’s Skinty Fia. Wet Leg’s debut has sold more than 55,000 physical copies so far this year, and is the biggest selling debut album of 2022 when streams are also taken into account. 

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, says, ‘It’s a sign of just how vibrant and diverse the UK music industry is that independent labels are set to increase their share of the market for a fifth successive year in 2022. This growth is built on a rich tapestry of talent, from singer-songwriters and rock groups to pop stars and rappers, all supported by a network of hundreds of indie labels who are creating further diversity in the market and giving artists real choice in how to release their music.’