I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone – especially given last week’s ‘where have all the guitar bands gone’ debatings online – but pop releases dominated 2011 in the UK, with the genre surpassing rock in terms of album sales for the first time in seven years.
According to Official Charts Company data released by the BPI this morning, big-selling albums from the likes of Adele, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Jessie J helped pop increase its share of album sales from 30.9% to 33.6%. Meanwhile rock’s share fell from 31.2% to 29.4%, with Coldplay contributing highly to that stat with their new album ‘Mylo Xyloto’.
In terms of other genres, folk accounted for 1.6% of album sales, thanks to Laura Marling and Bellowhead, while Hugh Laurie helped take the blues genre from 0.6% to 0.9%. MOR/easy listening was at 7.9%.
In terms of singles sales, pop saw its share fall just over 2%, though still dominated, accounting for 36% of sales. Rock had an 18% share and dance 13.8%.
And now a quote from BPI chief Geoff Taylor: “2011 was a vintage year for pop albums so it is hardly surprising that the genre has elbowed rock aside as the nation’s favourite. Although rock’s share is the lowest for eight years, it still accounts for three in ten of every albums sold, so recent reports of its demise are premature”.