Digital Music Sales up 10 Per Cent in 2011, Adele Shifts 5M Copies

By Gary Cutlack on at

The UK's shift to digital music is continuing, with stats for 2011's record sales expected to show that sales of digital albums in the UK increased by around 10 per cent over last year.

According to data released by Nielsen Soundscan, frumpy ballad singer Adele had by far the biggest album of the year, with her record 21 selling more than five million copies, making it the best-selling album the UK has seen since 2004 and a huge earner for eclectic indie label XL Recordings.

The success of Adele pushed overall record sales up by three percent in 2011, although physical copies of albums still outsell digital versions by a ratio of 2:1.

If you include singles and one-off individual track purchases, though, overall sales of digital and physical copies of all music had a 50:50 spilt in the UK last year. [Reuters]