London, U.K. (January 6, 2006)–Figures released by the U.K. record industry’s trade association, the BPI, show for the first time the massive impact that the over-50s are having on the U.K. charts.
The report, carried out in conjunction with Age Concern, found that 59 percent of over-50s had bought an album in the previous three months, 20 percent buy six or more CDs a year, with two thirds buying at least one a year, and 23 percent intend to buy a digital music player in the future. Twenty-four percent of all album purchases in 2004 were made by the over-50s, and this market is set to increase with Britain’s ageing population.
Classical music was the most popular genre, with easy listening and country close behind, but 64 percent said they also like rock music. Favorite artists among the over-50s reportedly include Il Divo, Rod Stewart, Tony Christie, Katherine Jenkins, G4, Ronan Keating, Phil Collins, Elvis Presley, Abba and Westlife.
BPI spokesman Matt Phillips said, “Album sales continue to grow in the U.K., and older music buyers are clearly responsible for much of that growth. Nearly a quarter of all albums sold are bought by older music fans–and that percentage is set to grow as the U.K. population ages.”
While only four percent of the over-50s currently own a digital music player, that could soon change, with MP3 players one of the most popular Christmas gifts. More over-50s are set to join the download revolution; for those that don’t already own a MP3 player, 23 percent said that they intend to buy one in the future. This will come as more welcome news to the British record industry, which has already seen digital sales increase by 400 percent in the last year.