CD sales tumble in Britain despite the Adele phenomenon
ALBUM sales have tumbled for the first half of the year in the UK, despite a further rise in the digital market.
They dropped by almost 14pc compared to the equivalent period of 2011, even with continued strong sales for Adele's 21.
Digital sales for the year so far have grown by 17.3pc, according to data from the British Phonographic Industry.
UK album sales for the first two quarters of 2012 totalled 43.6 million, down from the previous year's 50.3 million.
Mother-to-be Adele's album is the biggest seller so far this year, with Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events second and Lana Del Rey's Born To Die at number three.
Single sales are up 6.3% year-on-year for the first six months of 2012. Music fans in the UK bought 93.6 million singles, up from the 88 million during the same period of last year.
In 2003, before legal downloads became the norm, the music industry sold only around 30 million singles with fans having to fork out between £2.99 and £3.99 each time. Now they will typically pay 79p to 99p for a digital track.
Nine out of the top ten biggest sellers of the year so far were not even released on CD or vinyl and sold solely as downloads.
The biggest-selling single of the year is Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye, having notched up more than a million sales, while Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen is second.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "Album unit sales are down quite significantly year-on-year, but it's important to remember that these unit sales figures do not take into account the growing importance of music streaming and subscription services.
"The second half of 2012 is looking very promising for music fans, with big releases anticipated from The Killers, Plan B, Joss Stone, Mumford & Sons, Robbie Williams, Muse, David Guetta, Van Morrison, Pet Shop Boys, Dido, One Direction and The Vaccines."