Music streaming in UK passes 500m in a week for first time

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image captionEd Sheeran is the most streamed artist in the UK so far this year

A surge in music streaming in the UK has seen it pass 500 million streams in a week for the first time.

Figures from The Official Charts Company show there were 505,849,000 audio streams in the week ending 16 July - almost double the amount of the similar period last year.

There have been 11.5 billion streams in the first half of 2015 - an increase of 80% on the similar period in 2014.

Ed Sheeran is the most streamed artist of the year so far.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music industry body the BPI, called the figures "remarkable".

"It demonstrates vividly just how quickly streaming is being embraced by British music fans," he said.

He added he hoped "it will help our world-leading record labels invest even more into unearthing the next generation of British talent for fans here and around the world".

The figures also show 59 tracks have been streamed more than 10 million times in the UK so far this year.

The most streamed song is Mark Ronson's and Bruno Mars's Uptown Funk, which has been streamed more than 45 million times.

Ed Sheeran tops the list of the most streamed artists, with more than 170 million streams in the first six months of 2015.

Sam Smith is in second place with more than 100 million streams.

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