Digital album sales have rocketed in the UK this year, thanks in part to the phenomenon that is Adele’s ’21’. The Official Charts Company says that more than 10 million digital albums have so far been sold in the UK in 2011, compared to 7.1 million at this point last year. So far in 2011, digital has accounted for 22% of album sales in the UK, versus 17.5% for the whole of 2010. 21 has become the first album ever to sell more than 500,000 downloads in the UK, while albums from Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Jessie J have all topped 100,000 digital sales in 2011. “These figures amount to 59,000 digital albums a day on average this year, compared to 42,000 in the first six months of 2011,” says OCC boss Martin Talbot. “By the end of last year, 16.7m digital albums had been sold in the UK; at that rate, the market total should soar beyond 20m sales by the end of this year.” Meanwhile, BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor hopes the stats show that the album format isn’t dead just yet. “Music fans who really love an artist or band want more than the singles, they want to appreciate all the different elements of an artist’s creativity.”

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