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Classical music grew faster than any other genre in 2018

Indy 100 logo Indy 100 13/01/2019
a person standing in front of a piano © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Classical music proved to be the fastest growing genre in 2018, as the number of plays increased by more than 10 per cent. 

In comparison, there was a rise of only 5.7 per cent in music consumption last year across all genres, according to data collected by the Official Charts Company for BPI, the UK’s record labels association.

More than 2.2 million classical albums were purchased, downloaded, or streamed, with nearly 60 per cent bought in CD format, despite the market’s trend towards streaming.

Meanwhile, streams of classical music increased by 42 per cent in 2018, compared with a 33 per cent rise for the UK music market as a whole. Just over a quarter of classical music being consumed is now streamed.

According to BPI, the data also showed that seven of the top 30 bestselling classical albums of last year were film soundtracks, while music by Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi accounted for one in 12 UK classical streams. Also highly streamed were Katherine Jenkins, Andrea Bocelli and Yo-Yo Ma.

“The popularity of soundtracks and new works by composers such as Ludovico Einaudi and Max Richter are broadening the appeal of classical among younger listeners on streaming services.

“We welcome the government’s proposals to review music education. Funding and promoting much stronger music education in all schools would deliver benefits across society going well beyond classical music.”


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