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UK Hits One Billion Song Downloads

The music business has come a long way from the days when buying music meant schlepping down to your local record shop and picking up some hard copy tunes. These days, with services like iTunes, Amazon MP3 and others, music fans don't need to leave the house to buy new music. This week, the United Kingdom reached a pretty hefty milestone as far as digital downloads are concerned. The Official Charts Company is reporting that one billion songs have been downloaded in the UK since the launch of legal downloads nine years ago.

According to the OCC, Adele’s "Someone Like You" was also confirmed as the UK's most downloaded single of all time, followed closely by "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, and "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra. This one billion download figure comes from returns delivered to the Official Charts Company since 2004 and includes all sales of singles downloads to UK-based consumers. It doesn't include full digital album downloads or streams but does include tracks unbundled from digital albums.

"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!" said Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot. "Over the nine years of legitimate digital music, more than 16 new tracks have sold 1 million copies, which emphasizes just how popular digital music is in the modern age."

OCC reports that digital download sales have grown from around 500,000 sales a week in 2004 to more than three million a week in 2013. Last year saw 188.6 million single tracks sold, a 6 percent increase from 2011. So far this year, music fans have been averaging 500,000 single track downloads per day.

Adele, Maroon 5, and Gotye make up the top three for most downloaded singles. Rounding out the top 10 are Black Eyed Peas ("I Gotta Feeling"), Rihanna ("We Found Love"), Kings of Leon ("Sex On Fire"), Carly Rae Jepson ("Call Me Maybe"), LMFAO ("Party Rock Anthem"), Bruno Mars ("Just the Way You Are"), and Jessie J ("Price Tag").

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  • godnodog
    Please bring back the old comment text system, this new look is terrible. :(
  • coreym72
    I'll always prefer the highest digital download possible to match the original recording. If some fool's original recording is in CD quality then it may not even be worth listing to. MP3s are too dirty for my taste and it is time carry around some HD Flac on the phone.
  • booyaah
    And over 10 billion illegally downloaded songs
  • jaber2
    "The music business has come a long way from the days when buying music meant schlepping down to your local record shop and picking up some hard copy tunes" when did this happen? are we talking about the 50's and 60's, I don't remember doing that with all the free downloads before iTune