The latest figures from the Official Chart Company (OCC), reveal that singles sales have hurdled over the 100 million mark in the UK this year, rising by almost 8% in comparison to 2011.
The OCC reported this week that 100,925,796 tracks have sold to date this year, 7.8% more than the 93,621,302 total in 2011. An overwhelming amount of these were presumably in digital formats, with the vast majority of artists abandoning the idea of multiple physical formats and creating a digital boom in May this year. Despite the encouraging figures, unsurprisingly the same can’t be said for albums, with the OCC also reporting that 48,274,176 albums have been sold this year so far, 12.7% down on year-to-date sales at the same point in 2011.
Plan B took the top album spot with ‘Ill Manors’ this week, with Florence and the Machine (pictured) topping the singles chart with ‘Spectrum’. The Gaslight Anthem’s ‘Handwritten’ is Number One in the Official Record Store chart that records sales in independent stores across the UK. ‘Now Thats what I call Music! 82’ is the biggest selling album of the year so far.
Generate Debate: The story behind the stats seems quite simple in this case- the single track reigns supreme, with people in the 15-29 age demographic that Radio One aims for (and currently misses) having complete loyalty to songs rather than artists and choosing to consume music in playlists, with the release of ‘event albums’ increasingly scarce in the digital age.
Or does it simply prove the ongoing resurgence of mainstream pop in the charts, a genre in which artists live or die by single tracks and airplay?