UK Digital Albums Reach 50 Million Sales Milestone
UK sales of digital albums have now soared past the 50 million mark, with digital now accounting for almost 20% of all albums sold, new figures released today by recording industry body The BPI and the Official Charts Company confirmed.
This milestone shows how British music consumers are embracing digital music, following the news that the 500 millionth single track download was sold in the UK last week. The impressive digital albums sales feat has been achieved in less than four and a half years, with 50 million digital sales being reached far more quickly than the five years it took for sales of albums on CD to surpass the same total.
In 2006, downloaded albums accounted for less than 2% of the market. For 2010 year-to-date, digital sales constitute 19.6% of all albums sold with download sales expected to top 20 million by the end of the year. Five albums have sold over 100,000 digital copies to date this year, with Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More the top seller (131,737 digital copies).
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said, “Despite predictions to the contrary, digital albums have proved themselves a hugely successful format. Although digital downloads have boosted the singles market, many music fans want to hear a complete body of work from their favourite artists. Britain now boasts nearly 70 legal digital music services – more than any other country. Music fans are responding to the choice, convenience and value on offer from digital downloading.
“For digital to reach the 50m milestone faster than the CD suggests to me that the confidence consumers have shown in powering digital singles to an all-time high is now also being displayed in the albums market.”
Official Charts Company Managing Director Martin Talbot added, “While consumers continue to love buying CDs (which still account for four of every five albums sold), the growing number of digital music devices, quality download retailers and competitive pricing are helping make album downloads an increasingly popular option.
“And, with Kings Of Leon leading the way in the all-time list - Only By The Night becoming the first album to sell more than quarter of a million copies - it won’t be long before we see the first half-million-selling digital album.”
The top-selling digital album last week was The Script’s Science & Faith, which was downloaded just over 10,000 times. In the first week that digital album sales were recorded, the Number One was Embrace’s This New Day, with just under 2,000 digital sales. Some 15,747 different digital titles were downloaded in that week – last week the tally was four times that, some 63,696.
Kings Of Leon’s Only By The Night became the first album to sell over a quarter of a million copies digitally earlier this year, although Lady Gaga’s The Fame has now also surpassed that total. The biggest selling digital albums of all time are as follows:
Official Digital Albums Top 5: All-time
1. Kings Of Leon Only By The Night (Sony)
2. Lady Gaga The Fame (Universal)
3. Florence & The Machine Lungs (Universal)
4. Lily Allen It’s Not Me It’s You (EMI)
5. Mumford & Sons Sigh No More (Universal)
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Digital Album Sales (m) & % of sales:
*sales only recorded from April 2006 onwards.
**covers weeks 1 to 38
July 2006 1m sales
May 2007 5m sales
February 2008 10m sales
May 2009 25m sales
September 2010 50m sales
Official Best Selling Digital Albums, Year by Year:
2006: Snow Patrol Eyes Open (Universal)
2007: Amy Winehouse Back To Black (Universal)
2008: Coldplay Viva La Vida (EMI)
2009: Lady Gaga The Fame (Universal)
2010 (YTD): Mumford & Sons Sigh No More (Universal)
Official Digital Albums Top 5: 2010
1. Mumford & Sons Sigh No More (Universal)
2. Florence & The Machine Lungs (Universal)
3. Eminem Recovery (Universal)
4. Lady Gaga The Fame (Universal)
5. Plan B The Defamation Of Strickland Banks (Warner)
All figures and charts in this news release must be credited to the Official Charts Company.
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The BPI is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. We are a trade organisation funded by our members - which include hundreds of independent music companies and the UK’s four major record labels. BPI members account for approximately 90% of all recorded music sold in the UK, and globally the UK's recorded music market is the third biggest.
The BPI also organises the annual BRIT Awards show as well as the Classical BRIT Awards show. The organising company BRIT Awards Limited, is a fully owned subsidiary of the BPI. Substantial proceeds from both shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated almost £15m to charitable causes nationwide, since its foundation in 1989.