One Direction Claim the World's Biggest Selling Album of 2013

Following the publication of the IFPI’s Digital Music Report 2014 earlier this week, the BPI – the trade association representing the UK’s recorded music industry – can reveal that One Directions Midnight Memories was the top selling global album last year, selling 4m copies world-wide in the space of just five weeks (685,000 copies in the UK) following its release on 25th November.  


The group just edged out Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 to claim the top spot.


This means that UK acts have now claimed the top-selling artist album globally in six of the last seven years and seven of the last ten:


TOP SELLING ARTIST ALBUMS 2004-2013:  * UK artists/releases


2013:     One Direction Midnight Memories*

2012:     Adele 21*

2011:     Adele 21*

2010:     Eminem Recovery

2009:     Susan Boyle I Dreamed A Dream*

2008:     Coldplay Viva La Vida*

2007:     Amy Winehouse Back To Black*

2006:     Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium

2005:     Coldplay X&Y*

2004:     Usher Confessions


Source: IFPI/BPI


One Direction enjoyed another stellar twelve months in 2013 – prompting the IFPI, the body that represents record industry trade organisations world-wide, to name them ‘Global Recording Artist of 2013’ in recognition of their international popularity across downloads, physical format sales and streaming services.  The band’s success and appeal in the UK was also confirmed at last month’s BRIT Awards, where they collected two awards – for Global Success (for the second year running) and Best British Video.


One Direction’s Midnight Memories International success and end-of-year chart positions:


  • Nineteen No.1 official chart positions around the world, including in the UK, US, Australia, Canada and Ireland.
  • No.1 album in the UK and biggest-selling artist album of the year – selling 685,000 copies in just 5 weeks.
  • Entered the US chart at No.1 in December, making One Direction the first group in US chart history to debut at the top with their first three albums.  12th biggest album release of the year overall.   
  • Biggest selling international album in Japan and 18th best-seller overall, peaking at No.3 in the charts.
  • 10th biggest-seller in Canada overall, and another No.1 album.
  • 8th best-selling album in Italy, peaking at No.2, where all three of 1D’s albums featured in the top 60 albums of the year.  Also the most successful of any UK artist.
  • 8th best-selling album in the Netherlands - the best-selling album by a UK act – reaching No.2 in the Dutch charts.
  • No.1 album in Spain and the 6th high-seller overall.  All three of the band’s albums made the annual top 30.
  • 36th biggest selling album in France, where it gained a No.2 chart position.


Source: IFPI/Official Charts Company/BPI



BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo comments:


“Around one in eight albums sold around the world are by British artists, and One Direction are certainly playing their part in maintaining this fantastic achievement.  It all helps to add up to a golden decade of global success for British music, and with some huge albums out later this year, not least from the likes of Coldplay in May and a rumoured new release from Adele, there must be another good chance that a British artist will again top the global best-sellers list come the end of the 2014.”


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Notes to Editors

About The BPI

The BPI is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. The BPI is a trade organisation funded by its members - which include hundreds of independent music companies and the UK’s major record labels. The BPI’s 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 Classic 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.



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