British Stars Dominate as Digital Album Sales Break 100 Million Barrier

Adele’s 21 and Ed Sheeran’s + have boosted all-time UK sales of digital albums past the 100 million milestone, according to Official Charts data published by the music industry trade body BPI today.  

Soaring sales of digital albums are helping to drive strong growth in the digital music market, with revenues from downloads and subscriptions overtaking income from physical CDs and records in the first quarter of 2012.  Digital now accounts for a 34% volume of the total albums market.

The landmark has been achieved in a little more than six years since official records of digital sales began in April 2006, and only two years since the industry celebrated sales of 50 million digital albums.

Commenting on the figures, BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said,

“Sales of digital albums are surging ahead as British consumers embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by online services.

“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. With big releases to come from Rita Ora, The Script, Elbow, and Stooshe, digital album sales should continue to grow strongly.”

The top-selling album last week was Now 82 which shifted 45,000 copies online.  In the first week that digital album sales were recorded in 2006, the No.1 was This New Day by Embrace.  Some 64,000 albums were downloaded in that week – the weekly average for digital album sales is now almost eight times that at 500,000 downloads.

The 10 biggest-selling digital albums of all time, led by Adele, Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga, have all sold more than 250,000 copies online.


For more information, please contact:

• Lynne McDowell, BPI Senior Communications Manager – 07763 619709 /

• Adam Liversage, BPI Director of Communications – 07801 179032 /

Full PDF version of this press release is available here.

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