British Paid Downloads Cross 150 Million Mark

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The British recording industry has now sold 150 million paid downloads, according to information shared by the Official UK Charts Company and label trade group BPI.

The tally represents a modest acceleration for the UK-based paid download market, and the BPI appeared bullish on both digital and physical trends.

In March of this year, paid download sales topped the symbolic 100 million mark, a per-month rate of roughly 5 million purchases.  The latest benchmark ups that monthly rate to roughly 6.25 million.  Across the pond, the United States is experiencing far headier sales levels, and concerns of a possible market plateau.

Elsewhere, the BPI pointed to a broader surge in holiday quarter sales, though year-end totals will be closely watched.  The holiday action is being led by heavy-selling debut artist Leona Lewis, who threatens to outstrip a first week debut sales record previously established by the Arctic Monkeys.  Elsewhere, a number of stars recently pushed past the 100,000 sales mark during their opening weeks, including James Blunt, Westlife, and the Eagles.   But despite the strength, broader sales issues linger.  During the summer, the BPI disclosed a rather pronounced dip in first half sales, a development that reversed an earlier resilience by the British recording industry.