UK Album Sales Up

UK album sales are up for the first time in four years, according to the latest figures from the British Phonographic Industry.

Information provided by the Official Charts Company shows the value of the units shifted is 1.4 percent (or £300,000) up on the first quarter of 2012.

It’s the first time album sales have enjoyed a year-on-year increase since the final quarter of 2009.

The records that made a significant contribution to the improvement include Emeli Sandé s  “Our Version of Event,” the music from hit film “Les Misérables” and the latest volume of the “Now…” compilation series.

Another significant factor was the rise in digital downloads, which now account for 38.5 percent of the market, up from 17.8 percent a year ago.

The number of units shifted was 9 million, up 1.4 million than in Q1 2012.

The remarkable resurgent interest in vinyl continues with sales up 78.1 percent.

CD unit sales dropped 7.2 percent to 14.2 million, although it remains the most-purchased format.

The Q1 sales figures illustrate that as digital grows its share, albums can follow the singles market back to growth,” said BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor.

“The strength and depth of British music is highlighted by newcomers such as Jake Bugg and Bastille sitting alongside iconic figures like David Bowie in the Top 20 best-sellers.

“The strong performance of independent labels in March bolstered by releases this quarter from Stereophonics, Atoms for Peace, and many others is very encouraging.”

The Q2 albums in the pipeline include new releases from Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Laura Marling, Daft Punk, and Noah & The Whale.

The singles market continued to perform strongly with Q1 unit sales totaling 48.5 million, up 3.9 percent year-on-year compared with 46.7 million in Q1 2012.