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BPI 2012 figures: Album sales fall 11.2% as singles hit record high

Tim Ingham
BPI 2012 figures: Album sales fall 11.2% as singles hit record high

Annual UK album sales dropped by more than 10% in 2012 as the CD albums market shrunk by a fifth – although singles sales hit a new high.

According to new BPI figures, sales of albums on CD declined 19.5% year-on-year to 69.4m in total in 2012, as combined volume sales of digital and physical albums fell overall by 11.2% to 100.5m. 

Digital album sales rose 14.8% to 30.5m, but it wasn’t enough to make up the shortfall in physical sales. However, 16 albums sold more than 100,000 digital copies in 2012.  

Despite the growth in digital formats, the CD remained popular with album buyers in 2012, accounting for more than two-thirds (69.1%) of total sales compared to a 30.4% share for digital albums and 0.4% for vinyl LPs. 

In the UK singles market, track sales volumes continued to break records for the fifth year in succession.  

Total singles sales increased 6.0% to 188.6m in 2012, with the overwhelming majority (99.6%) accounted for by digital tracks and bundles.

All the top 20 best-selling singles of 2012 sold more than 500,000 copies each.

The final week of 2012 proved to be the year’s record week for digital sales as consumers redeemed their Christmas music vouchers and downloaded more than 1.3m albums and 5.6m singles.

Meanwhile, Brits streamed audio tracks more than 3.7 billion times during 2012, according to Official Charts Company figures - equivalent to 140 music streams for every household in the UK.

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye ft Kimbra, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Titanium by David Guetta ft Sia were the three most-streamed tracks of the year.   

Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said, “2012 was an encouraging year for UK artists and for music’s digital future.  Digital albums grew strongly and singles sales hit a new record.  Music fans are now streaming billions of songs from new services enabled by record labels.

“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.

“However, the quality of our music and digital innovation by UK labels means we have excellent potential for domestic growth and to increase our share of the global music market.  We hope Government will recognise the potential of digital music to contribute to economic recovery and provide more active support in 2013.”

Tony Wadsworth, BPI Chairman, added: “British artists continue to resonate strongly with music fans in their home territory, with albums by Emeli Sande, Adele and Ed Sheeran topping the end-of-year charts.

“The domestic success of albums from Mumford & Sons and One Direction has been replicated abroad - both British acts have achieved massive success in the US.”

British acts accounted for seven of the UK’s top ten selling artist albums of 2012 and the entire top three.  Emeli Sande’s debut album Our Version Of Events was the biggest seller of 2012, ending the year with 1.4m copies sold.  Adele’s 21 ended 2012 in second place, with + by Ed Sheeran finishing at No.3. 

There were strong 2012 artist album chart placings for One Direction’s Up All Night (No.5), Mumford & Son’s Babel (No.6), Olly Murs’ Right Place Right Time (No.7) and Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto.

X Factor 2012 winner James Arthur was the highest placed Brit in the Official Singles Chart 2012 ? his hit single Impossible ended the year as the fifth biggest-selling single.   The only other British artist in the 2012 Singles top ten was Jessie J with Domino at No.8.

Read the full up-to-date BPI/Official Charts Company recorded music UK sales data below:

ALBUMS: UK MARKET VOLUMES BY FORMAT 2008 - 2012

Format

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2012 %

2012 +/-

CD

123.0m

112.5m

98.5m

86.2m

69.4m

69.1%

-19.5%

LP

0.209m

0.219m

0.234m

0.337m

0.389m

0.4%

+15.3%

Digital

10.3m

16.1m

21.0m

26.6m

30.5m

30.4%

+14.8%

Other*

0.154m

0.146m

0.104m

0.052m

0.147m

0.1%

+158.5%

TOTAL

133.6m

128.9m

119.9m

113.2m

100.5m

100.0%

-11.2%

* 'Other' includes Cassette, MiniDisc, DVD Audio, DVD Video, DMD and 7" box set albums.


SINGLES: UK MARKET VOLUMES BY FORMAT 2008 - 2012

Format

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2012 %

2012 +/-

7? vinyl

0.486m

0.222m

0.152m

0.123m

0.096m

0.1%

-21.7%

12? vinyl

0.254m

0.110m

0.067m

0.063m

0.055m

-

-14.0%

CD singles

4.1m

2.5m

1.9m

1.1m

0.617m

0.3%

-44.2%

Digital singles

109.8m

148.8m

158.6m

175.1m

183.3m

97.2%

+4.7%

Other*

0.556m

1.154m

1.142m

1.513m

4.448m

2.4%

+193.9%

TOTAL

115.1m

152.7m

161.8m

177.9m

188.6m

100.0%

+6.0%

* 'Other' includes DVD, DMD, Digital Bundles and Cassette Singles.


OFFICIAL ARTIST ALBUMS CHART 2012

 

Title

Artist

Label

Company

1.

Our Version Of Events

Emeli Sand?

Virgin

EMI Music

2.

21

Adele

XL Recordings

XL Beggars

3.

+

Ed Sheeran

Atlantic

Warner Music

4.

Born To Die

Lana Del Rey

Polydor

Universal Music

5.

Up All Night

One Direction

Syco Music

Sony Music

6.

Babel

Mumford & Sons

Gentlemen Of The Road/Island

Universal Music

7.

Right Place Right Time

Olly Murs

Epic

Sony Music

8.

Christmas

Michael Bubl?

Reprise

Warner Music

9.

Mylo Xyloto

Coldplay

Parlophone

EMI Music

10.

Unapologetic

Rihanna

Mercury

Universal Music

(c) Official Charts Company

 

OFFICIAL SINGLES CHART 2012

 

Title

Artist

Label

Company

1.

Somebody That I Used To Know

Gotye ft Kimbra

Island

Universal Music

2.

Call Me Maybe

Carly Rae Jepsen

Polydor

Universal Music

3.

We Are Young

Fun ft. Janelle Monae

Atlantic/Fueled by Ramen

Warner Music

4.

Titanium

David Guetta ft Sia

Parlophone

EMI Music

5.

Impossible

James Arthur

Syco Music

Sony Music

6.

Gangnam Style

Psy

Island

Universal Music

7.

Starships

Nicki Minaj

Cash Money/Island

Universal Music

8.

Domino

Jessie J

Island/Lava

Universal Music

9.

Payphone

Maroon 5 ft Wiz Khalifa

Polydor

Universal Music

10.

Wild Ones

Flo Rida ft Sia

Atlantic

Warner Music

(c) Official Charts Company

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Tags: bpi, Official Charts Company

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