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Apple Music not even as popular as Google Play in the UK

20 September 2017, 10:45 | Written by Laurence Day

A new study released by UK Music shines a light on the nation's music habits - and it has thrown up some intriguing results.

This year's Measuring Music report showed that the UK music industry grew almost across the board, raking in £4.4 billion, with big favourites such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Coldplay among those helping boost British musical exports by 13% - tipping the total to £2.5 billion.

Interestingly live events now make up a full quarter of the total revenue - roughly £300 million more than recorded music (physical and digital formats, plus streaming). It's not simply price increases either, with millions more tickets sold in 2016 compared to 2015 (30.9 million compared to 27.7 million). Despite this boost, it's not all rosy.

"Live music did have another great year," says former Labour MP and UK Music CEO Michael Dugher. "But future talent will never get the chance to shine if we continue to see cuts in music in schools and closures in venues where artists need to learn their craft in the first place."

"We urgently need to address the ‘value gap’ on the new and exciting platforms that many people now use to listen to music," Dugher continues, addressing unspecified tech giants. "Unlike subscription services, those platforms often offer little adequate reward to the investors and creators of the music that drives so much of their traffic. There is still too often a culture of denial from the big tech firms. The way people listen to music may be changing, but certain fundamental responsibilities must continue. It’s time for the free ride to come to an end."

Black and white smartphone with headphones plugged in

YouTube has been reported as the most popular method of music consumption in the UK, with almost a third of the country using the service for music at least once a week. 16% of the country uses Spotify, 13% use Facebook, 8% use iTunes, and 7% use BBC iPlayer to listen to the radio. It paints an interesting picture - especially when you get to the bottom of the pile, with Vevo and Deezer both on 2%, but Apple Music only just above on 3%. Amazon Music Unlimited is also on 3%, but it's the oft-ignored Google Play which manages to snare more, albeit only slightly, with 4% of the country tuning into the service at least once a week.

Despite vinyl's staggering boom in recent years, it's still only a format regularly used by 3% of the nation. CDs on the other hand are still a big player, with 15% of the UK putting one on weekly.

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