Digital music sales pass £1bn

Adele
Adele's 21 is the most downloaded album in the UK

Total digital music sales in the UK have broken through the £1 billion barrier for the first time, according to new figures.

The BPI says £1,014 million has been spent since they were launched in 2004.

Breaking this symbolic barrier is important for the music industry in the face of online piracy and illegal downloading.

Record companies will be pleased with the continuing upward trend in sales of digital music.

Almost one third of the £1 billion figure (£316.5m) was spent by consumers last year alone.

Album prices fall

Adele's album 21 is the most popular download, followed by Lady Gaga's The Fame and Kings of Leon's Only by the Night.

Other digital albums have proved very popular.

A total of 34 have now been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Six of the top 10 albums are by UK artists.

When it comes to singles Lady Gaga and Kings of Leon have again done well.

I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas is the best selling digital single, followed by Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon) and Poker Face (Lady Gaga).

The BPI says digital sales are good for consumers too.

Its figures show the average price of an album has fallen steadily since digital sales were introduced, from £10.02 in 2004 to £7.32 last year.

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