According to a report from trade body BPI, last year’s recorded music sales of £1.03bn are broadly line with 2013, representing a small dip of 1.6 percent in year-on-year retail value.
Alongside Sheeran and Smith, singer songwriter George Ezra is credited with leading the charge of UK acts hogging all the slots in 2014’s best-selling artist albums top 10 – the first time this has happened since official chart records began.
Two albums – Sheeran’s x and Smith’s In the Lonely Hour – achieved well over one million sales during the past 12 months, with 1.7 million and 1.25 million respectively.
The report added that no artist album achieved this milestone in 2013, while Sheeran’s sales are the highest since Adele’s 21 in 2011.
The year’s best-selling singles were Pharrell Williams’ Happy, followed by Clean Bandit’s Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne and John Legend’s All of Me.
British acts also dominated the most streamed artist list of 2014, claiming seven out of the top 10 places. Sheeran’s x was the UK’s most streamed artist album of the year, followed by Smith’s In the Lonely Hour.
In total, 14.8 billion tracks were streamed in the UK during 2014, which accounted for 12.6 percent of all music consumed in 2014, up 6.2 percent from 7.5 million streams in 2013. The BPI said that the surge in streaming helped to offset the decline in CD and download sales format.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and BRIT Awards, added: ‘The remarkable success of British artists in 2014 is exciting news for the future. Our record labels are backing homegrown talent like Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and George Ezra, who in turn are catching fire around the world.
‘With major new premium services from Apple and YouTube set to boost subscription streaming even further in 2015, we believe the UK’s world-leading music industry is strongly positioned for future expansion.’