Album sales in the UK have dropped for a fifth year in a row, according to official figures released by the BPI today.
Sales of albums in 2009 were down by 3.5% on the previous year dropping to just over 128.9million.
Despite the drop sales of album downloads have increased 56.1% to 16.1million – approximately an eighth of all units shifted.
Artists including Lady Gaga, Susan Boyle, JLS, Michael Buble and Robbie Williams have been cited as helping keep album sales alive.
The fate of albums starkly juxtaposes the sales of singles which have grown 32.7% in just one year to 152million – 98% of which are digital downloads.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "Despite difficult trading conditions and the ever-present competition from illegal downloading, UK music sales remained relatively resilient during 2009.
"While sales of physical CDs continue to trend downwards, music fans are clearly responding to the explosive growth of digital retailers and outlets selling and streaming music in the UK. 2009's record singles result is clearly encouraging."