Adele scores top selling album and singles of 2011 as digital sales continue to rise

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

January 2, 2012 | 2 min read

For a fourth successive year, digital album sales have risen with a growth of 26.6% in 2011, and Adele’s album 21 the bigger ever selling album is a single year with 3.8m sales.

Design an album sales decline of 5.6% to 113.2m, figures released by the BPI sbow that digital album sales grew to 26.6m in 2011, although CD sales dropped by 12.6% to 86.2m.

The biggest week for digital sales of both albums and singles was the last week of 2011, when consumers redeemed vouchers they had received for Christmas, resulting in 1m albums and 5.7m singles being downloaded.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive for BPI, said; “It has been another record year for digital singles, but the most encouraging news of the year is the strong backing consumers are giving to the digital album format. British music fans understand that the album remains the richest way to connect with an artist’s work. Digital developments grab the headlines, but the CD remains hugely popular with consumers, accounting for three-quarters of album sales. Physical ownership is important to many fans and the CD will be a key element of the market for years to come.

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“British artists continue to produce incredible music that resonates at home and around the world. But while other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our Government is taking too long to act on piracy, while weakening copyright to the benefit of US tech giants. The UK has already fallen behind Germany as a music market. Unless decisive action is taken in 2012, investment in music could fall again – a creative crunch that will destroy jobs and mean the next Adele may not get her chance to shine on the world stage.”

As well as the highest selling album, Adele also scored the best selling single of 2011 also with the song ‘Someone Like You’.

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