Adele, Maroon 5 and Gotye lead the way as 1 billionth singles download is sold in the UK.
The music industry today celebrates a major milestone in its digital evolution, with the total number of digital singles sold in the UK hitting one billion – according to data tracked by the Official Charts Company.
The 1 billion landmark was reached yesterday evening (Monday), nine years after legal downloads launched in the UK. This period has seen a revolution in music consumption for music fans, artists, record labels and digital services alike.
Adele’s Someone Like You was also confirmed as the most downloaded single of all time by the Official Charts Company, followed closely by Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 FT Christina Aguilera, and Gotye FT Kimbra’s Somebody That I Used To Know.
The full Official All-time Download Chart Top 20 (compiled by the Official Charts Company) is outlined below. You can also stream the entire Top 20 on Spotify and Deezer, too.
© 2013 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
At a typical three-and-a-half minutes per track, it would take 6,659 years to listen to all one billion singles downloads played back-to-back – you would have had to start listening in 4646BC to have finished by today.
Since UK digital downloading took off in 2004, sales have exploded from around 500,000 sales a week to more than 3 million a week. 2012 took singles sales to new heights with 188.6 million tracks sold, beating 2011's record-breaking total by a further 6%. In 2013, sales continue to surge - in the first three months of the year, UK music fans have been snapping up an average 500,000 single tracks every day.
The 1 billion total is made up from all sales to UK-based consumers of singles downloads, as defined by the UK music industry. This does not include full digital album downloads or streams, but does include individual tracks unbundled from digital albums. The data is drawn from returns delivered to the Official Charts Company by 50 digital retailers since the beginning of 2004.
Kim Bayley, Director General of the Entertainment Retailers Association, says, “UK music fans benefit from having probably the greatest choice of digital music services anywhere in the world. Digital music stores offer virtually unlimited range, access from pretty much anywhere on the planet and of course they never close. To hit one billion download sales is an incredible milestone and a testament to the ingenuity and investment and belief of a new generation of retailers who set out to create an entirely new music buying experience. ”
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, adds, "The digital music revolution has made it easy to buy any song you like, instantly, for half the price of a coffee. As fans increasingly download music on the move, tablets, smartphones and connected cars will drive another phase in digital music’s expansion.”
Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot also welcomes the news: “The explosion in download sales over the past nine years means we are genuinely now living in the digital music age – with Adele as our queen! Over the nine years of legitimate digital music, more than 16 new tracks have sold 1 million copies, which emphasises just how popular digital music is in the modern age.”