Mercury Prize 2018: Which nominees have seen the biggest sales uplift?

Who's benefitted most from a Mercury nomination? We crunch the numbers.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize 2018 is coming! This Thursday 20 September, the great, the good, and the glamorous of the UK music industry come together to celebrate the achievements of 12 British artists, before picking the lucky winner.

Whoever lifts the 2018 Mercury Prize will join acts like Skepta, The xx, Arctic Monkeys, Suede, and double-winner PJ Harvey in the prize's 26-year history of recognising British talent.

The 2018 jury mulling over the 12 potential winners is made up of a clutch of industry experts and includes Clara Amfo, Ella Eyre, Marcus Mumford, and Jamie Cullum. While they're making their final deliberations, we delved into the stats to see who's benefitted most from their nomination. Will it have any bearing on the final result? We'll have to wait and see on Thursday…

In terms of increase in sales, London jazz outfit Sons of Kemet come off the best. When talking of percentage increases, it's usual that those with, shall we say, more modest sales have the farthest to leap. The band's third album, Your Queen is a Reptile, sees a surge of 38.3% since nominations were announced in July.

MORE: Mercury Prize – The best selling winning albums

Also seeing a leap in sales is Florence + the Machine, who scores a third Mercury nomination with fourth album High as Hope, which added over 20,000 sales in the last six weeks to see an uplift of 32.8%. Florence has also sold the most albums in the period between nomination and the ceremony than any other nominee.

BRITs Critics' Choice winner Jorja Smith has seen a surge too: debut Lost and Found's sales increased 30.8% since she was nominated, to give her 42,000 sales, and Lily Allen has scored her first ever Mercury Prize nomination with fourth set No Shame, seeing sales jump 19.7%

MORE: Look back over every Mercury Prize winner ever

Lower down the table, while some bigger names' sales surges might seem less impressive, it's worth remembering some had sold quite a lot before the nominations were revealed. Arctic Monkeys' Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino sold 13,200 copies in the last six weeks, but when you consider total sales currently stand at 151,000, the 9.6% uplift is more understandable. Bottom of the uplift table is Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds, whose 2% uplift is explained by 5,200 sales in the weeks since nominated contributing to a latest overall sales figure of 264,300.

Here are the nominees ranked by sales uplift:

  TITLE ARTIST % UPLIFT
1 YOUR QUEEN IS A REPTILE SONS OF KEMET 38.3
2 HIGH AS HOPE FLORENCE + THE MACHINE 32.8
3 LOST AND FOUND JORJA SMITH 30.8
4 NO SHAME LILY ALLEN 19.7
5 EVERYTHING IS RECORDED EVERYTHING IS RECORDED 16.6
6 NOVELIST GUY NOVELIST 13.9
7 TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO ARCTIC MONKEYS 9.6
8 HOLIDAY DESTINATION NADINE SHAH 9.5
9 THE OOZ KING KRULE 5.1
10 A FEVER DREAM EVERYTHING EVERYTHING 3.9
11 VISIONS OF A LIFE WOLF ALICE 3.9
12 WHO BUILT THE MOON? NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYGING BIRDS 2

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

And just to put those stats into perspective, here's how the nominees rank in terms of sales since nominations were announced:

  TITLE ARTIST SALES SINCE NOMINATION TOTAL SALES UPLIFT
1 HIGH AS HOPE FLORENCE + THE MACHINE 20,200 80,700 32.8
2 TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO ARCTIC MONKEYS 13,200 151,100 9.6
3 LOST AND FOUND JORJA SMITH 9,900 42,000 30.8
4 WHO BUILT THE MOON? NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYGING BIRDS 5,200 264,300 2
5 NO SHAME LILY ALLEN 3,000 17,900 19.7
6 VISIONS OF A LIFE WOLF ALICE 2,200 57,200 3.9
7 YOUR QUEEN IS A REPLTIL SONS OF KEMET 920 3,300 38.3
8 A FEVER DREAM EVERYTHING EVERYTHING 800 21,000 3.9
9 THE OOZ KING KRULE 750 13,400 5.1
10 HOLIDAY DESTINATION NADINE SHAH 600 7,000 9.5
11 EVERYTHING IS RECORDED EVERYTHING IS RECORDED 515 3,600 16.6
12 NOVELIST GUY NOVELIST 130 <3,000 13.9

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Look back over all the Mercury prize winners so far… 

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Sampha (2017)