Business News Labels & Publishers

2010 digital album sales total already passed in 2011

By | Published on Monday 7 November 2011


For a sector that is constantly moaning that if the government doesn’t get its arse into gear and enact the anti-file-sharer ‘graduated response’ system set out in the Digital Economy Act it will soon crash and burn into oblivion, the UK record industry has certainly been issuing a lot of announcements recently about all the many, many, many downloads it’s been selling of late.

I know trade body the BPI would tell us that anytime it says “blimey our members are selling a lot of records at the moment” we should automatically hear the proviso “but not enough for them to continue to invest in British new talent at a level that ensures the future of the music industry and all those jobs and exports”, but you can’t help thinking the mixed messaging aids those who proffer the “all record companies are money-grabbing lying bastards” line.

Anyway, the BPI has announced that more digital albums have already been sold this year than last with two months left to go. According to Official Charts Company data released by the trade body, over 21.3 million digital albums have been sold so far this year, meaning 2010 sales levels have already been beaten. Digital albums now account for 26.2% of all album sales, up from 17.5% in 2010.

Coldplay selling 83,000 copies of their new album in the digital format during first week of sale helped, while Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran have all had impressive digital album sales. Needless to say, Adele is the biggest British digital seller, selling close to 800,000 digital albums so far this year.

Commenting on the stats, BPI top main chief dude Geoff Taylor told CMU: “It’s encouraging to see such strong sales in the digital albums market before the Christmas gifting season gets properly underway. For the last five consecutive years, the final week of the year has been the biggest in terms of digital album sales, as consumers spend digital music gift vouchers received at Christmas and try out legal digital music services on their new iPods, tablets and laptops”.

He added: “In the last week of 2010, digital album sales topped a record 800,000. This year we may see the one million weekly sales barrier broken for the first time, despite the adverse impact of illegal sites and tough economic conditions. Music fans have more ways than ever before to buy music and a great selection of exciting new albums to look forward to before the end of the year”.