While album sales fell...
Jason Gregory

14:48 7th January 2009

Sales of music singles in the UK grew by 33% last year despite the tough economic climate.

More than 115million singles were sold on both digital and physical formats, the BPI said.

The organisation said the growing popularity of legal downloading had helped singles, while the majority of physical sales were through supermarkets.

"During a recession, people look for purchases that are excellent value for money and bring a lot of enjoyment, and music does just this," BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said.

Meanwhile, popular releases from The Killers and Take That helped album sales post better than expected end of year figures. But sales were actually down 3.2% on 2007.

Over 10 million digital albums were sold in the UK in 2008 – a rise of 65% on the previous year.

The growing format is now accountable for 7.7% of the overall albums market.

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Photo: Carsten Windhorst