Music streaming reaches a record high in 2015

Bruno Mars and his band

Music streaming has reached a record high in the UK, with the number of songs played rising by 80% compared to this time last year.

New figures from the British Phonographic Industry show there have been 11.5 billion streams in the first six months of 2015.

That's compared to 14.8 billion for the whole of 2014.

Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk is the most streamed track of the year, with 45 million plays.

"Millions of households are experiencing the joy of instantly playing any song they want," says Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI.

"All around their house and on any device, [they're] exploring a universe of new music and classic albums."

Taylor Swift
Image caption Taylor had challenged Apple over not paying royalties to artists during Apple Music's three-month trial period

With the launch of Apple Music - which joins the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Tidal - the popularity of streamed music is set to increase further.

Apple Music became available for download on 30 June, costing £9.99 per month for one person or £14.99 for a family subscription.

Taylor Swift has now resolved her differences with the company after initially refusing to allow them to stream her music, over their plans to withhold royalties during Apple Music's three-month trial period.

Video streams on platforms like YouTube aren't included in official chart data yet, but they're going up in a big way too.

Statistics show there has been a 98.2% rise compared to the first six months of 2014.

British music is proving particularly popular - seven of the top 10 best-selling albums in the UK this year are by British acts.

In America, on demand streaming is up 92.4% with 135 billion streams through the first half of 2015 according to Nielsen, which monitors music streaming worldwide.

Drake
Image caption Drake's next album will be released on Apple Music

Interestingly, the popularity of streaming is having a positive effect on physical sales, too.

"At the same time, many fans are rediscovering the slower pleasure of collecting and owning music on CD and vinyl," says Geoff Taylor from the BPI.

If vinyl sales exceed the 2 million mark, it will be the highest number recorded since 1994, when the Official Charts Company started monitoring sales.

Analysis from Newsbeat's music reporter, Sinead Garvan:

These latest figures aren't too much of a surprise and we will be reading more of the same as the streaming market continues to grow.

It has been a huge few months for streaming with the launch of Tidal and Apple Music, both threatening the dominance of Spotify.

But it is still early days and while it is fast-growing it is still a way off surpassing CD and download sales.

While CD sales are declining, the speed of that decline is slowing.

And while these figures for streaming have gone up, it doesn't necessarily mean an increase in revenue for artists.

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