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BPI: 2012 was 'encouraging year for UK artists'

Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the music industry body the BPI, said:

2012 was an encouraging year for UK artists and for music’s digital future.

Digital albums grew strongly and singles sales hit a new record.

Music fans are now streaming billions of songs from new services enabled by record labels.

He said that although market conditions proved troubling for High Street sales, digital growth was helping to counter a slump in CD sales.

The quality of our music and digital innovation by UK labels means we have excellent potential for domestic growth and to increase our share of the global music market.

We hope Government will recognise the potential of digital music to contribute to economic recovery and provide more active support in 2013.

– Geoff Taylor

Digital downloads make up 99.6% of UK single sales

The volume of UK single sales grew for the fifth successive year, according to new figures from the BPI.

Total single sales increased by 6 percent from £177.9m in 2011 £188.6m in 2012, with 99.6% accounted for by digital tracks.

CD singles sales nearly halved - falling from £1.1m in 2011 to £0.6m last year.

Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know was 2012's biggest-selling single, with X Factor's James Arthur the highest placed British artist at number five, Official Charts Company data showed.

Psy's Gangnam Style was one place behind.


'Olympics is ideal time to protect British creative industries'

The 2010 Digital Economy Act set out plans to have internet providers send warning letters to those infringing copyright by downloading illegal music copies. Under the act, those doing so could face having their internet connection cut off and substantial fines.

The act is not due to come into force until 2014. The letter, whose signatories include Elton John and Simon Cowell, states the London Olympics will put new global attention on Britain’s creative industries, and argues that the country is well-placed to increase its exports from the music industry.

“We can realise this potential only if we have a strong domestic copyright framework, so that UK creative industries can earn a fair return on their huge investments creating original content.”

Stars call for music piracy crackdown

Pete Townshend of The Who and Brian May of Queen are leading a group of music stars in a public attack on internet search engines, such as Google, for helping users get access to pirate copies of their music.

Pete Townshend from the Who is one of the musicians leading the campaign. Credit: Press Association.

Sir Elton John, Lord Lloyd Webber and the rapper Tinie Tempah are among other leading musical figures who have signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph calling for more action to tackle the illegal copying and distribution of music.

Brian May, of Queen, has also put his name to the anti-piracy campaign. Credit: Press Association

The letter, which will also be sent to David Cameron, highlights the role search engines can play in giving people access to illegal music copies.