Kantar Worldpanel -

Direct-to-consumer music reconnects UK fans and artists



35-55-year-olds buying albums and singles for themselves account for 56% of sales

35-55-year-olds buying albums and singles for themselves account for 56% of sales

Festival season is giving music fans the opportunity to dig out their bum-bags, glitter and welly boots but also allowing them a rare chance to get up close to their favourite artists.  They’ll undoubtedly feel connected to these world-famous acts as they sing along in front of them – but how many will go on to purchase their idols’ work once the summer festival season comes to an end?

Building a close relationship between artist and fan away from the stage might be key.  Purchases of music directly from the artist’s website, rather than on the high street or another online store, are up by nearly 30% in the past yearSuperfans are driving this trend: 35-55-year-olds buying albums and singles for themselves account for 56% of sales.   This growth is even more remarkable when you consider the declining sales of physical music across the board – highlighting the commercial opportunities available for artists who invest in these relationships.

Giulia Barresi, entertainment analyst at Kantar, says: “Direct-to-consumer music sales are a high point in an increasingly challenging entertainment market and despite being relatively small within the sector, they shouldn’t be discounted. 

“Buying straight from the source allows people to feel a closer connection to their favourite artists – something that can be lost when using a streaming service, where the entire world’s back catalogue is at your fingertips.  They can also benefit from a feel-good factor too, in knowing they are directly contributing to an artist’s success.

“There’s a big opportunity for musicians here – direct-to-consumer sales have already grown 28% year on year, but still only account for 5% of sales.  However, even streaming services like Spotify are getting in on the act, organising intimate live performances from big names to generate that connection between artist and fan – unless acts properly invest in marketing their own product, they could find themselves losing out.”

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Dominic Sunnebo
Entertainment Analyst

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