Digital downloads rise, but overall music sales fall over 5%


Music sales have continued to fall in the UK, despite growth in digital downloads, according to figures released by the BPI. Combined sales of digital and physical albums fell overall by 5.6% to 113.2 million in 2011. According to the BPI figures, the CD remained the favoured format for UK album buyers in 2011, accounting for 76.1% of total sales compared with a 23.5% market share for digital and 0.3% for vinyl.

Digital album sales rose 26.6% to 26.6 million, while sales of albums on CD declined 12.6% year on year to 86.2 million in total.

The 15 most popular albums sold more than 100,000 digital copies in 2011.

Sales of vinyl LPs rose by more than a third (43.7%) during 2011 to 337,000, their highest tally since 2005.

The UK singles market saw sales records being broken for the fourth year in a row with singles sales increasing by 10% to 177.9 million in 2011.

The vast majority (99.3%) were sold as digital tracks and bundles. A total of 1.1 million CD singles were sold in 2011, representing just 0.6% of the total.

The decline comes despite Adele's record 21 becoming the highest-selling album of the 21st century.

Adele's best-selling 21 sold 3.8 million copies - more than double the 1.8 million sales achieved by 2010's top album, Take That's Progress.

UK artists dominated the charts with five of the top 10 selling artist albums in 2011 coming from British acts.


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