Digital albums sales in the UK this year have already passed the total amount sold in 2010, according to the NME today. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has revealed that 21.3 million digital copies of albums have been sold in 2011, breaking the record set last year with two months of the year remaining, according to the Official Charts Company.
They also report that this year, digital albums represented 26.2% of all albums sales, which is up from 17.5% from 2010. The figures have been boosted by the success of Coldplay's latest album Mylo Xyloto. The record broke the record for the highest number of digital copies to be sold in album's first week of release after it shifted more than 80,000 digital copies in week one. This accounted for 40% of its first week sales in total.
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: "It's encouraging to see such strong sales in the digital albums market before the Christmas gifting seasons gets properly underway. For the last five consecutive years, the final week of the year has been the biggest in terms of digital album sales, as consumers spend digital music gift vouchers received at Christmas and try out legal digital music services on their new iPods, tablets and laptops."
He added: "In the last week of 2010, digital album sales topped a record 800,000. This year we may see the one million weekly sales barrier broken for the first time, despite the adverse impact of illegal sites and tough economic conditions. Music fans have more ways than ever to buy music and a great selection of exciting new albums to look forward to before the end of the year."
Adele's album '21' still holds the record for the most digital album sales of all time, having sold almost twice as many records as Lady Gaga's 'The Fame Monster', and also has the biggest digital sales figures for 2011. Other albums to make this year's Top 10 include Rihanna's 'Loud' and Jessie J's 'Who You Are'.
Latest photos of Coldplay at the MX launch event in Cologne, Germany (for 1Live Radiokonzert E-Werk - 2nd November 2011):