Digital singles are set for a record year in UK
Sales of the most popular chart singles have soared by almost 40 per cent as once-disposable pop hits are given an extended lifespan through downloading. Digital singles are set for a record year in the UK after breaking through the 100 million sales barrier in record time.
Sales of the year’s top 10-selling tracks have risen by 38.5 per cent compared to their equivalents last year, shows the Official Charts Company.
Led by Adele, who has sold one million singles in 2011 so far, sales of the top 10 tracks are 2.1 million units up on last year’s most popular songs.
Jessie J is also leading the charge, with 900,000 sales of her “Price Tag” single. Other huge hits include “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO and “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Their performance has helped total singles sales rise by 12.2 per cent year-on-year. The most popular singles are lingering around the charts for months, and in the case of Mumford & Sons and Taio Cruz, more than a year.
A song’s airing on a television soundtrack, or an X Factor performance, is sending purchasers back to iTunes and other digital download services, catapulting the hit back up the chart.
The longevity of today’s hits challenges the traditional view that pop singles are a disposable purchase with a limited life-span. But news that the top end of the singles market is growing at more than three times the rate of the overall sector means that fewer singles are becoming hits.
A narrow range of largely R&B/dance songs, promoted heavily by commercial radio and Radio 1, is dominating sales at the expense of other styles, such as guitar rock. The fate of Glasvegas, one-time NME favourites, who have been dropped by their record label Sony after poor sales, is typical of the shift in tastes.
Solo artists such as Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran can now break through with the right song; his single “The A Team” is about to pass the 500,000 sales mark in its 10th week in the top 10. But the singles market revival has not prevented the continuing slide in album sales, down 1 per cent in 2011. But digital album sales alone have soared 39.1 per cent this year, with 10 million full albums downloaded legally.
The slump in CD album sales continues with a further 8.5 per cent contraction this year. Although 2.81 million more digital albums were sold this year, compared to the same period last year, it did not make up for the 3.26 million lost CD sales. The singles revival has also hit compilation albums, which helped keep the CD industry buoyant.
A seven-year decline in music sales has been reversed in the US, giving the industry hope that the digital revolution, which threatened recorded music, can now be harnessed to create new stars.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track