U.K. biz builds North America market share

Coldplay, Radiohead helped propel sales in '08

LONDON -- The British music industry has grown its share of the U.S. and Canadian music markets, according to a report from U.K. trade body the BPI.

U.K. artists have increased their market share in North America for the fourth year in a row, the report states. The market share of album sales in the U.S. rose from 8.5% in 2007 to 10% in 2008; in Canada, British artists made up almost 15% of album sales, up from 12.5% in 2007.

The British acts performing strongly in 2008 in North America include established bands such as Coldplay and Radiohead, alongside breakthrough artists Duffy, Leona Lewis, Estelle, Adele and the Ting Tings. Robert Plant's "Raising Sand" (Rounder) collaboration with Alison Krauss was also a big seller.

"Britain's creative industries consistently excel on the world stage - with British music chief amongst them," said BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth. "After the U.S., we are the biggest exporter of repertoire, and in the U.S. itself the U.K. is the second largest source of repertoire after U.S. home grown artists."

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" (Capitol) was the No. 1 U.K. artist album in the U.S. in 2008, while Leona Lewis had the top-selling single track download with "Bleeding Love" (Syco/J). Anglo-Australian rock veterans AC/DC had the No. 1 U.K. artist album in Canada last year with "Black Ice" (Columbia), according to the BPI report.

"Revenues generated from sales abroad are crucially important for new acts, with U.K. labels reinvesting an estimated 20% of their revenues back into A&R," said Wadsworth.