The BPI was formed in 1973 and is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. As a trade organisation it promotes recorded music in the UK and worldwide and champions the rights and interests of a broad range of members, including hundreds of independent music labels and companies and the UK’s three major record company groups – Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK. In 2014 its members accounted for approximately 90% of all recorded music purchased in the UK – the world’s fourth largest music market – while UK artists were responsible for 1 in every 8 albums sold world-wide.
The BPI administers the iconic Platinum, Gold and Silver Awards Programme, which awards Platinum, Gold and Silver disc certification status to music recordings as they achieve particular sales milestones, while it also co-owns the Official Charts with the retailers’ association ERA. The BPI additionally organises the annual BRIT Awards show as well as the Classic BRIT Awards and the BRITs Icon shows. The organising company BRIT Awards Limited, is a fully owned subsidiary of the BPI. Substantial proceeds from the shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated around £16m to music education causes nationwide, including The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, since its foundation in 1989.