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LONDON: Total album sales in Britain fell 11.2 percent in 2012 despite a sizeable rise in digital downloads, official figures released yesterday showed.
The number of physical and digital albums sold last year in the United Kingdom totalled 100.5 million, down from 113.2 million in 2011 and extending a series of losses over the last decade.
According to figures from the Official Charts Company, the drop came despite a 14.8 percent rise in digital album sales to 30.5 million.
The rapid growth in musical downloads once again failed to make up for losses in the physical CD market which still dominates. CD sales dropped 19.5 percent year-on-year to 69.4 million. They stood at 123 million as recently as 2008.
The album chart for the year was dominated by homegrown talent with Emeli Sande, Adele and Ed Sheeran occupying the top three spots. Seven out of the top 10 were British acts.
British singles saw their fifth consecutive year of record sales, increasing 6 percent in 2012 to 188.6 million. Of these, 99.6 percent were digital tracks and bundles.
“Music fans are now streaming billions of songs from new services enabled by record labels,” said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI which represents the recorded music business.
“The Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympics provided a great showcase for British music internationally, but market conditions at home remained difficult and pressure on the ‘leisure wallet’ impacted music sales on the high street,” he added.
UK consumers streamed music tracks 3.7 billion times in 2012, representing 140 tracks per household. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen and “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia were the three most streamed tracks of the year. reuters