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U.K. Digital Album Sales Climb Nearly 25%, But Overall Music Market Drops
October 03, 2011
By Richard Smirke, London

The continued growth of digital album sales was the one positive note in some otherwise depressing quarter three figures, released today by U.K. labels trade body the BPI.

According to BPI data, digital album sales rose 24.2% year-on-year to 6.1 million units in Q3. The format now accounts for 28.2% of all U.K. album sales, up from 20.1% in the third quarter of 2010. That gain was not enough, however, to offset a 20.5% fall in physical sales, with 15.6 million CD albums being sold in the third quarter of 2011, down from 19.6 million in the corresponding period the previous year.

Third quarter albums sales across all formats – CD, digital and vinyl – dropped 11.4% to 21.8 million units from 24.6 million in 2010. In total, 72.3 million albums have been sold in the U.K. so far in 2011, compared to 76.2 million at the same point last year.

Unsurprisingly, Adele lays claims to two of the U.K.’s biggest selling albums of 2011 with “21” and “19” (both XL Recordings), respectively the No. 1 and No. 2 most bought records year to date. Bruno Mars “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” (Elektra/Warner Music) is No. 3.

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