Sustained growth in digital music sales failed to offset the year-on-year decline in U.K. album sales in 2012, according to new figures released today by labels trade body the BPI.
In 2012, combined digital and physical album sales fell 11.2% to 100.5 million units, down from 113.2 million in 2011. CD sales fell 19.5 percent year-on-year to 69.4 million units, down from 86.2 million the year previous.
The continued growth of digital sales does, however, offer welcome signs of recovery. According to the BPI (in association with the Official Charts Company), digital album sales rose 14.8% to 30.5 million units in 2012, up from 26.6 million the previous year. 16 albums sold more than 100,000 digital copies in 2012.
The U.K. singles market also grew for a fifth successive year with 188.6 million singles sold in the previous twelve months – a 6.0% rise on 2011’s 177.9 million units sales figure. Streaming services additionally experienced impressive take-up, with British consumers streaming more than 3.7 billion tracks in 2012 – equivalent to 140 music streams for every household in the U.K., according to the BPI/Official Charts Company. Read more here