Digital Gains Can’t Halt UK Music Album Declines

Digital’s share of UK album sales has grown from a fifth to nearly a third in the last year, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

But that’s partly because physical sales are still declining.

Q3 digital album sales rose 24.2 percent to 6.1 million, but that was not enough to offset a 20.5 percent decline in physical sales to 15.6 million. Album sales generally fell 11.4 percent to 24.6 million.

Single sales by volume have been rejuvenated by digital since 2004 and are still growing, though at a less pronounced rate – up 12 percent over the last year.

Our chart shows how album sales are largely a Christmas phenomenon – the only time when they tie with singles…

[dataset id=”723552″]

Nothing new there. But it does throw music label strategy in to relief…

That pattern encourages Greatest Hits and box set releases and compels labels to focus on the holiday season. But, as digital’s share of album sales grows, what would a Christmas album digital strategy look like?