Album sales dropped in UK in 2009
Album sales in the UK fell by 3.5 per cent in 2009, despite a growth in digital sales and a "healthy stream" of sales of releases by artists such as Lady Gaga.
The Official Charts Company data showed that combined albums market sales of 128.9 million - including physical CDs and digital downloads - declined by 3.5 per cent during 2009.
It also said a "healthy stream" of releases from the likes of Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, JLS and Robbie Williams had helped sustain the market.
Music business body the BPI, which released the figures, said the drop was halted to a degree by the growth of the market for digital albums - 16.1 million downloads in 2009, up 56.1 per cent on the previous year.
Digital albums now account for 12.5 per cent of the albums market.
By contrast, the singles market saw big success by recording its best year - with UK sales leaping by a massive 32.7 per cent.
More than 152 million singles were sold - smashing the 2008 record of 115.1 million.
During 2009, 98 per cent of singles, some 149.7 million single tracks and bundles, were sold in digital formats - which the BPI said was a testimony to big investments made by UK retailers in music download stores.
The BPI also said that following the demise of chains Zavvi and Woolworths, the market was bolstered in part by sales of CDs from unconventional outlets such as fashion retailer Peacocks and video game specialist Game.
Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive, said: "As the way in which consumers find and purchase music continues to evolve, it is vital that music companies can continue to invest in new artists and support new digital services. Despite difficult trading conditions and the ever-present competition from illegal downloading, UK music sales remained relatively resilient during 2009."