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Britons dominate global album sales

Published 04/06/2015

Sam Smith is among the British acts that account for one in seven album sales around the world
Sam Smith is among the British acts that account for one in seven album sales around the world

Britannia rules the airwaves - according to new figures that show UK acts account for one in seven of all albums sold around the world.

The success of performers including Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran saw UK albums and singles generate around 2.75 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) in sales last year.

Figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) showed UK music accounted for 12% of album sales in the United States, 15% in Canada and around 20% in Australia and Italy.

Its Music Market 2015 Yearbook showed it accounted for 13.7% of global sales and just over one in seven albums sold last year.

The trade body, that represents UK record labels, said five of the top 10 global recording artists of the year were British - One Direction, Sheeran, Coldplay, Smith and Pink Floyd - with Scottish-born Australian rockers AC/DC also in the top 10.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said the figures were " truly outstanding".

He said: "Music is a tremendous exports success story for the UK - all around the world, fans are listening to the records we produce, supporting not only our balance of trade but a positive image for Britain overseas. It's encouraging to have a government that backs British music exports and understands the key role music plays in projecting Britain's identity as a creative powerhouse."

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid, said: " The popularity of British music at home and abroad is, appropriately, only going in 'One Direction'. These record figures are fantastic news and show the enormous demand for UK music all around the world."

:: Top 10 Global Recording Artists in 2014

1. Taylor Swift - 1989

2. One Direction - Four

3. Ed Sheeran - X

4. Coldplay - Ghost Stories

5. AC/DC - Rock Or Bust

6. Michael Jackson - Xscape

7. Pink Floyd - The Endless River

8. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour

9. Katy Perry - Prism

10. Beyonce - Beyonce

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