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The most successful UK record labels

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The most successful UK record labels

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With the news that Glastonbury 2024 is limiting resale tickets, meaning more people will have to listen at home, new research shows the most successful UK record labels. The experts at Spin Genie UK have delved into the data, looking at the profits of various music labels across the UK, as well as Google searches, monthly listeners, and playlist reach to find out.

EMI Records, Annual Revenue: £1,300,000,000. Home to some of the biggest names in pop music, including Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Lewis Capaldi, it’s no surprise EMI is the most successful British record label. With a whopping 146 artists on its roster, EMI has an annual revenue of £1.3 billion. They’ve recorded with everyone from Cliff Richard to Margaret Thatcher and even Noele Gordon.

Rough Trade Records, Annual Revenue: £33,243,050. Up next is the indie label Rough Trade Records. Starting as a record shop in London before branching out into music production, the label has an annual revenue of £33 million. Despite its origins as an alt-rock label, Rough Trade now has a diverse range of artists, from Mercury Prize-nominated experimental rockers ‘black midi’ to the electro-pop duo Jockstrap.

Island Records, Annual Revenue: £13,218,070. Island Records is in third place, with an annual revenue of £13 million. The label, now owned by Universal Music Group, started out focusing on reggae artists and signed Bob Marley in the early 70s. Island’s success during this time turned it into a major label, releasing records from some of the era’s most popular rock and folk acts, including Cat Stevens and Steve Winwood.

Rank

Record Label

Annual Revenue

Google Searches (Jan-Dec 2023)

Total Monthly Listens

Total Playlist Reach

1

EMI Records

1.3B

96.3K

189.4M

3.3B

2

Rough Trade Records

33.2M

110.2K

44.7M

777.3M

3

Island Records

13.2M

264.8K

477.1M

8.1B

4

Polydor Records

11.9M

99.9K

442.1M

7.0B

5

Virgin Records

5.5M

179.7K

124.4M

2.5B

6

Xtra Mile Recordings

308.7K

33.5K

1.8M

87.7M

7

Domino Recording Company

22.8K

98.1K

63.1M

976.4M

Further findings reveal that the most profitable US record label is Atlantic Records, with an annual revenue of £3.16 billion while Interscope Records is the most popular label, with 682,000 searches over the last 12 months and Island Records is the most listened-to music label, with over 447 million monthly listeners from its biggest artists, including Hozier, Amy Winehouse and Ariana Grande.

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