UK record labels association the BPI, which organises the Hyundai Mercury Prize, can report a massive surge in demand for Michael Kiwanuka’s self-titled album KIWANUKA following last week’s acclaimed Hyundai Mercury Prize win – announced live on Thursday 24th September on BBC One’s “The One Show” by broadcaster and Hyundai Mercury Prize judge Annie Mac.
As reported by the Official Charts Company earlier this week, KIWANUKA, which re-entered the Top 100 after being Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlisted and was at No.78 just last week, has reached No.2 in the midweek charts and is on course for at least a Top 5 finish when the latest Official Albums Chart is announced this Friday (2nd October). This would be the biggest chart impact for the Hyundai Mercury Prize winner since The XX triumphed in 20102, and arguably one of the most notable outcomes in the Prize’s three decade history given the challenges in producing awards shows under pandemic restrictions. The dramatic climb up the charts reflects a remarkable 4,537 per cent rise in purchases of the album over the past week3 across vinyl, CD and downloads, and a rise of almost 800 per cent in the number of audio streams of the album’s tracks.
Michael Kiwanuka’s KIWANUKA is also making its mark on digital music platforms, shooting up to No.1 on both iTunes (with album purchases up 671% in the first 24 hours) and Amazon, while video views from search on Hyundai Music Prize digital partner YouTube in the UK have risen by 1,035 per cent. Global Spotify streams coming from search are up 225 per cent, and overall, since the winner’s announcement, website traffic for KIWANUKA across various platforms has rocketed by 1,300 per cent and remains at a 500 per cent increase on the previous period. Reinforcing the impact of Prize win, Google Search volumes for Michael Kiwanuka rose to double the amount he experienced around the initial release of “KIWANUKA” on 1st November 2019.
Demand for the other shortlisted artists has also shown a significant rise due to the Hyundai Mercury Prize spotlight, with Official Charts data showing a combined increase in physical and downloaded album sales of 515 per cent1. These include Lanterns On The Lake “Spook The Herd” (+425%), Anna Meredith “FIBS” (+421%), Georgia “Seeking Thrills” (+220%), Porridge Radio “Every Bad” (+192%), Moses Boyd “Dark Matter” (+180%), Laura Marling “Song For Our Daughter” (72%), Sports Team “Deep Down Happy” (49%) and Kano “Hoodies All Summer” (56%). Even shortlisted artists who have already enjoyed No.1 albums are showing a rise in demand with sales of Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” up by just over a quarter (27%) and Stormzy’s “Heavy is the Head” rising by a fifth (19%)1.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, which is also home to the Hyundai Mercury Prize, said:
“As the nation’s foremost Arts Prize for music, the Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates the very best music of the year across all genres, and helps to bring it to a wider audience. In such a challenging year, we are delighted by the impact of the expanded BBC broadcast coverage and by the huge response to Michael’s deserved win. We encourage fans to dive into all twelve Albums of the Year 2020 – there is so much profound brilliance to discover.”
For the first time, the winner of the Hyundai Mercury Prize was announced on BBC One’s “The One Show”, which was followed by “Later with Jools” Mercury Prize Special on BBC Two the following evening. An innovative digital and social campaign, including the first global live stream of Hyundai Mercury Prize performances on YouTube and a successful series of Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties featuring the shortlisted albums, further extended digital reach for the Prize and the shortlisted artists. The official Hyundai Mercury Prize playlist is available now via YouTube Music.
The Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ celebrate and promote the best of UK music, recognising artistic achievement across an eclectic range of contemporary music genres.
The 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ are:
Anna Meredith ‘FIBS‘
Laura Marling ‘Song for Our Daughter‘
Charli XCX ‘how i’m feeling now‘
Michael Kiwanuka ‘KIWANUKA‘
Dua Lipa ‘Future Nostalgia‘
Moses Boyd ‘Dark Matter‘
Georgia ‘Seeking Thrills‘
Porridge Radio ‘Every Bad‘
Kano ‘Hoodies All Summer‘
Sports Team ‘Deep Down Happy‘
Lanterns on the Lake ‘Spook the Herd‘
Stormzy ‘Heavy is the Head‘