Jan 7, 2009

Business - UK;Downloads boost 2008 single sales

The UK singles market grew by 33% in 2008 thanks to a growth in download sales, the BPI has said.

Figures from the body, which represents the recorded music business, showed more than 115 million singles were sold across digital and physical formats.

Releases from groups like The Killers, Girls Aloud and Take That also helped the album market finish the year with stronger than expected sales.

However UK albums sales generally fell by 3.2% in 2008.

The digital albums market grew during strongly over the year with 10 million sold - a 65% increase compared to 2007.

The format now holds 7.7% of the albums market as a whole.


The BPI said that strong demand for new releases meant that although the physical supply chain had suffered due to economic conditions hitting retailers such as Woolworths and Zavvi, sales had migrated to supermarkets, digital retailers and online stores.

"Every business and consumer in the UK is having a tough time, and these difficult trading conditions make the resilience of the UK's music market all the more notable," BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said.

"During a recession, people look for purchases that are excellent value for money and bring a lot of enjoyment, and music does just this," he said.

The BPI's figures are based on sales in terms of volume of units sold.

A BPI spokeswoman told the BBC News Website that sales in monetary terms would not be known until later in 2009.

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