One Direction's Midnight Memories named biggest-selling album of 2013

The boy band may have achieved chart success, but 2013 marked the first year in a decade that no album sold more than 1 million copies in the UK

The return of Adele can’t come soon enough for the UK music industry after 2013 became the first year in almost three decades without a million-selling artist album.

One Direction’s Midnight Memories has become the year’s biggest-selling album after a late surge saw the boyband overtake Emeli Sandé’s Our Version Of Events.

However Midnight Memories, One Direction’s third album, has sold just 685,000 copies - less than half the 1.39 million copies which Sandé sold during 2012 to become the year’s best-seller.

The last time no artist recorded a UK million-seller was in the pre-CD early 80s, according to research compiled by industry magazine, Music Week.

Album sales during the Christmas week, when music fans have traditionally rushed to send gift vouchers, were down 22 per cent week-on-week from 2012.

There was one million-selling album in 2013 but it was the 86th edition of the Now That’s What I Call Music! compilation series, which has sold 1.2 million copies.

Stalling sales of digital albums, which have failed to make up for the decline in physical CD sales, contributed to the continuing slide in the album format, considered the “gold standard” of musical achievement for 50 years.

A lack of “blockbuster” releases contributed to the figures – Adele, whose 21 album sold 3.8 million UK copies in 2011, is expected to return with a new record next Autumn.

While singles download sales remained strong, headed by million-selling tracks from Daft Punk and Robin Thicke, UK pop artists including Jessie J and Tinie Tempah, who enjoyed huge debut album success, struggled to repeat the feat with their 2013 follow-ups.

Beyoncé’s attempt to breathe fresh life into the album format, with the surprise iTunes release of her new record, succeeded in driving worldwide sales of 800,000 inside three days.

But it came too late to affect the end-of-year statistics in the UK, where the album has sold 200,000 copies inside three weeks.

The BPI said that the album slump is now being offset by the rise of streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, which are luring potential digital purchasers from iTunes but are not included in official album sales.

UK consumers have streamed an estimated 7 billion tracks this year and the BPI is set to release figures expected to show that streaming now accounts for a 10 per cent share of the overall UK market.

The value of subscription streaming rose by 33.7 per cent this year reducing the music industry’s total loss of value to 0.5 per cent.

The trend away from albums towards single tracks has been exacerbated by the inclusion of video views in the US Billboard charts. Sexually explicit videos by Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus have racked up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube and Vevo.

Midnight Memories could yet go on to sell one million copies. It was only released five weeks ago and is expected to receive a boost should be the band feature prominently at the Brit awards, held in February.

Chart-topping albums by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow, released for Christmas, are also expected to continue selling in 2014.

UK album best-sellers

2012 Our Version Of Events, Emeli Sande (1.4m calendar year sales)

2011 21, Adele (3.8m)

2010 Progress, Take That (1.8m)

2009 I Dreamed A Dream, Susan Boyle (1.6m)

2008 Rockferry, Duffy (1.7m)

2007 Back To Black, Amy Winehouse (1.6m)

2006 Eyes Open, Snow Patrol (1.5m)

2005 Back To Bedlam, James Blunt (2.4m)

2004 Scissor Sisters (1.6m)

2003 Life For Rent, Dido (2.2m)

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea