Independent music sector on course to grow market share for fifth consecutive year in the UK

Indie labels' share of the UK music market was 28.6% during the first 10 months of 2022, up from 26.9% for the whole of 2021. Eight independent albums have topped the Official Albums Chart in the YTD, incl. releases by Central Cee, Fontaines D.C. and Wet Leg, while nearly 60 indie releases have reached the Top 10. Independents made up more than 40% of album sales in October, led by Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 and Simple Minds.

London, 14th November 2022

Independent record labels’ share of the UK recorded music market is on course to grow for a fifth consecutive year in 2022, according to new analysis from the BPI, the representative voice for independent and major record labels across the UK.

In the first ten months of the year, independently-released music made up 28.6% of the UK music market1, up from 26.9% for the whole of 2021 and almost a third (30%) up on 2017, when independents claimed a 22.1% share. A wide range of independents are contributing to this success, including BPI members Dirty Hit, Partisan and PIAS, as well as companies such as Domino and XL Beggars.

Indie label market share has grown year-on-year in 2022 across sales and streams, but has been particularly strong in the albums market, where independents accounted for four in every ten (40.5%) sales during the month of October, including on vinyl LP and CD formats. This compares to a 32.2% share over the same month in 2021 and was led by Arctic Monkeys’ seventh studio album The Car, which accumulated one of the highest weekly vinyl LP sales of the century following its release on 21st October, according to Official Charts Company data. The album surpassed 100,000 sales in its first two weeks of release, excluding streaming.   The Car is joined among the year’s top-selling albums by fellow Domino Recordings band Wet Leg, whose self-titled debut album has sold more than 55,000 copies on CD, vinyl and cassette in the UK in the year to date. Including streams, it is the biggest debut album released in 2022.

The Wet Leg album, which was shortlisted for this year’s Mercury Prize, is one of eight independent releases to have topped the Official Albums Chart in 2022 – a list that also includes work by rapper Central Cee (23), rock groups Don Broco (Amazing Things), The 1975 (Being Funny In A Foreign Language), Stereophonics (Oochya!) and The Wombats (Fix Yourself, Not The World), as well as post-punk band Fontaines D.C. (Skinty Fia). They are among nearly 60 independent albums that have reached the Top 10 in the year to date, including in the past few weeks releases by artists as varied as singer-songwriter Craig David (22), pop icon Kylie Minogue (Impossible Princess), rock group Massive Wagons (Triggered!) and alternative band Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Cool It Down).

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said:

“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.”


Chart 1 – Official Independent Albums Chart 2022 to date* Top 10 © Official Charts Company

Pos.         Artist & Title                                                                                                                

  1. Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino Recordings)
  2. Arctic Monkeys– The Car (Domino Recordings)
  3. Central Cee– 23 (Central Cee)
  4. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (Domino Recordings)
  5. Wet Leg – Wet Leg (Domino Recordings)
  6. Adele – 25 (XL Recordings)
  7. Adele – 21 (XL Recordings)
  8. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino Recordings)
  9. The 1975 – Being Funny In A Foreign Language (Dirty Hit)
  10. Gerry Cinnamon – The Bonny (Little Runaway)

*up to chart week 44 2022

Chart 2 – Official Independent Singles Chart 2022 to date* Top 10 © Official Charts Company

Pos.         Artist & Title                                                                                                                

  1. Arctic Monkeys – 505  (Domino Recordings)
  2. Arctic Monkeys– Do I Wanna Know (Domino Recordings)
  3. Central Cee– Doja  (Central Cee)
  4. Russ Millions ft Buni & YV – One Of A Kind Presents Reggae & Calypso (One Of A Kind Music)
  5. Arctic Monkeys – Why D’you Only Call Me When You’re High  (Domino Recordings)
  6. Adele – Someone Like You (XL Recordings)
  7. Wilkinson & Issey Cross – Used To This (BMG)
  8. Dod & Carla Monroe– Still Sleepless (Axtone)
  9. Passenger – Let Her Go (Nettwerk)
  10. Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent  (Domino Recordings)

*up to chart week 44 2022


Notes to Editors

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) – bpi.co.uk

The BPI champions the UK’s recorded music community, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL.  The BPI’s membership consists of well over 500 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’ – Universal Music UK, Sony Music Entertainment UK and Warner Music UK.  Its total membership taken together accounts for around  85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption and 1 in 10 streams around the world.  The BPI promotes British music at home and overseas through its trade missions, the Music Exports Growth Scheme and The BRIT Awards, which it owns and organises. It administers The BRIT Certified Platinum, Gold and Silver Awards Programme, co-owns the Official Charts Company with ERA, and is home to The Mercury Prize.  The BPI encourages and supports innovation and technology through its Music & Tech Springboard Programme, and additionally provides insights, training and networking with its extensive free masterclasses, networking events, Insight Sessions and reports alongside its communications and public affairs work.

Album Equivalent Sales (AES) is a standard industry metric enabling sales & streaming volumes to be measured on a comparable basis so that total music consumption can effectively be gauged. This analysis converts all streams & sales data to ‘Album Equivalent Sales’ (AES). Physical & digital album sales have been included as per the Official Charts database, but the cumulative total for individual track sales has been divided by 10 (to provide a ‘Track Equivalent Album’ (TEA) figure). Both audio and video streams are now counted in the AES figure, but are weighted according to whether plays are derived from a ‘premium’ or ‘ad-supported’ source. Premium plays are divided by 1000 and ad-supported plays are divided by 6000 to comprise the ‘Streaming Equivalent Albums’ (SEA) portion of Album Equivalent Sales. As the AES methodology has been revised in 2020, the 2019 AES figure has been restated in accordance. For estimated retail value contact the Entertainment Retailers Association https://eraltd.org/


BPI represents the UK’s recorded music industry. We champion the interests of our membership which includes more than 400 independent music companies. Together, BPI’s members account for 85% of all music sold in the United Kingdom.