The BPI is trumpeting another digital milestone for the UK music industry: 100m sales of digital albums since records were first recorded in 2006. The music body notes that it took four years to reach 50m sales, and then just two to double that total, with digital now accounting for 34% of album sales in the UK: 500k downloads a week.
Adele and Ed Sheeran are both being feted for their role in the growth, taking the first and second slots in the Official Charts Company’s chart of bestselling digital albums of all-time in the UK. The BPI is also keen to point out that 15 of the top 25 are made by British artists.
“Sales of digital albums are surging ahead as British consumers embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by online services,” says boss Geoff Taylor. “As our athletes compete against the best in the world, British artists have taken the gold and silver positions in the best-selling digital artist albums of all time, and six places in the top ten.”
What’s left unsaid in this particular announcement is that overall album sales are still dropping in the UK – down 13.8% in the first half of 2012 compared to the first half of 2011, despite digital album sales rising 17.3% in the same period.
As Taylor noted at the time those figures were published, none of these stats take into account streaming and subscription services, though. Will it be long before ‘100bn streams’ is just as much of an indicator of industry health?
Anyway, here’s the OCC’s list of the 10 best-selling digital albums of all time in the UK, which have all sold more than 250k units:
1. Adele – ’21’
2. Ed Sheeran – ‘+’
3. Lady Gaga – ‘The Fame’
4. Kings of Leon – ‘Only By The Night’
5. Rihanna – ‘Loud’
6. Florence + the Machine – ‘Lungs’
7. Coldplay – ‘Mylo Xyloto’
8. Mumford & Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
9. Plan B – ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’
10. Bruno Mars – ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’