UK Music Sales Dip Further In 2010 But Digital Albums Hit The Mainstream. A third successive record year for singles and the emergence of a mainstream market for digital albums failed to halt a further overall decline in UK music sales in a market that remains heavily distorted by still-increasing levels of illegal downloading, new Official Charts Company data released today by the BPI confirmed.
Combined sales of digital and physical albums overall fell by 7.0% to 119.9m in 2010, with growth in digital sales failing to offset the decline in physical CD sales. Despite the encouraging digital albums sales of 21.0m, growing 30.6% on last year’s sales of 16.1m, the market for CD albums declined 12.4% to 98.5m from 112.5m in 2009.
The singles market recorded an all-time sales high of 161.8m, 5.9% up on 2009′s tally of 152.7m, reflecting the unparalleled choice and value on offer from the UK’s burgeoning digital music retail environment. 5.2m tracks were downloaded in the final week of 2010 – the first time weekly sales have surpassed 5m. Sales of digital single tracks represented 98.0% of overall singles sales, with CD singles only accounting for 1.9m sales, down on last year’s total of 2.5m.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said, “2010 showed that the digital singles highs seen in the previous two years were no fluke – music fans continue to embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by legal download stores. The market for digital albums also went mainstream in 2010 with nearly a fifth of sales now coming from online services.
“Yet however encouraging it is to see the digital market grow, this must be seen against the bigger picture. Despite unprecedented demand for music, and strong innovation offering consumers new ways to access music online, legal downloads are unable to offset the decline in CD sales because they are dwarfed by illegal competition.
“We will continue to do everything we can to promote the legal market, but meaningful action to tackle illegal downloading remains absolutely critical if we are to stabilise British music sales, let alone return to growth. Without it, investment in new digital services and in British musical talent will begin to dry up.”
Tony Wadsworth, BPI Chairman, added, “Consumer choice for recorded music has never been greater – both in depth of catalogue and the many ways to buy it. It is now crucial that action to stem illegal downloading, incentivising continued investment in this popular art form, is implemented decisively and urgently.”
It was a solid year for British artists in the 2010 album charts. Take That’s Progress was crowned overall year-end album chart champion, selling more than 1.8m copies during 2010. It was boosted in part by first week sales of almost 520,000, making it the fastest-selling album of this millennium.
Including Take That, The Official Charts Company end-of-year artist album Top 10 boasted five placings from new and established British talent, including Plan B’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks (No.5), Paolo Nutini’s Sunny Side Up (No.6), Florence & The Machine’s Lungs (No.8) and Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More (No.10).
While Pop and Urban titles dominated the bestsellers list, there were also big successes for Classical artist André Rieu – who had two albums in the year-end Top 30 – and Michael Bublé, whose Crazy Love (classified as MOR / Easy) was the second-biggest selling UK album overall.
Eminem featuring Rihanna’s Love The Way You Lie sold 854,000 copies to become the UK’s No.1 single of 2010, narrowly seeing off a late challenge from X-Factor winner Matt Cardle’s single When We Collide which ended 2010 as the second biggest-selling single. Tinie Tempah also featured in the year-end Top 10 with his breakout hit Pass Out.
UK record companies and retailers worked hard during 2010 to make CDs available to consumers in record numbers of outlets on the high street. The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) confirmed that over 6,600 stores stocked CDs in the run up to Christmas, compared to just over 4,600 at the beginning of 2010 – around 15% more than the 5,750 in 1999, music’s previous boom year.
Take That comeback album fastest seller since Oasis. Take That have smashed records in the U.K. with the band’s comeback album ‘Progress’ becoming the highest first-week seller in 13 years. Within a week, ‘Progress’ sold just shy of 520,000 copies, which is the highest opening week since Oasis’ 1997 album ‘Be Here Now’. The band have released several albums since their heyday after reforming in 2006, but without original member Robbie Williams who left to pursue a hugely successful solo career, they never quite matched their peak, but earlier this year it was announced that Robbie would rejoin the band and it has proved fruitful. In 1995 the band exploded onto the world with ‘Back For Good’ from the album ‘Nobody Else’. They were one of the giants of the boy band phenomenon and easily the most successful to come out of the UK. Rihanna’s ‘Loud’ entered the charts at number two and didn’t stand a chance.
Take That Announces Summer Tour 2011 With Robbie Williams. Reformed ’90s boyband Take That has announced their biggest ever tour for the summer of 2011. The British pop group will also be reunited with ex-member Robbie Williams on their 14-date stadium road show. For the first time as a five-piece group in 16 years, Take That is embarking on the “Progress Live 2011″ tour, which is described as a “feast for the imagination, charting the evolution and progress of Take That and Robbie Williams through their extraordinary 20-year history.” The live shows will celebrate the group’s biggest hits from the last two decades, as well as Robbie’s chart-topping solo career. The tour follows the release of the boys’ new album “Progress” on November 22, and the release of its first single “The Flood” on November 15. Tickets for the tour’s shows at Hampden Park, Glasgow on June 22nd and 23rd will go on sale on October 29.
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