The Brits have been voraciously buying music online, stemming the world’s downward spiral into digital abyss that has been swallowing profits for any and all twentieth-century mediums. According to BPI (“the representative voice of the U.K. recorded music business”), Brits have purchased more digital recordings during the first ten months of this year than in all of 2010. The 21.3 million digital recording sales so far in 2011 comprise 26.2 per cent of overall sales, up from 17.5 per cent in 2010.
British artists have done their part to bolster record sales; Coldplay’s recent release Mylo Xyloto sold a record 80,000 digital copies in its first week, and soul darling Adele’s album 21 became the best-selling digital record of all time. Mega-releases by artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Bruno Mars also contributed to boosted sales, but even Lady Gaga’s The Fame is a distant second place to 21.
According to the Economic Times, the research firm Gartner suggests that the rise in digital record sales is not unique to the U.K. Gartner projects that, by the end of 2011, global digital music sales will have risen 7 per cent, bringing revenue up to $6.3 billion total. This news bodes well for the upcoming holiday season, during which time artists like Susan Boyle, REM, the Black Keys and Amy Winehouse are scheduled to drop. Even so, the decline in physical sales outstrips the growth of digital sales, and so the music industry continues to suffer. Thanks for trying, Brits.