Mercury Prize recognition boosts sales

Nominated albums see increase in demand

LONDON -- Albums nominated for this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize have seen big increases in sales, according to market-leading U.K. entertainment retailer HMV.

The 12-album shortlist for the award, which honors the best U.K. and Irish albums of the year, was announced July 21. In the two weeks following the announcement, Scottish alternative rockers Glasvegas enjoyed the biggest sales uplift in HMV stores in percentage terms, with sales of its self-titled Columbia debut rocketing 1103%.

HMV did not reveal unit sales figures, but says it also saw big rises for funk outfit the Invisible's "The Invisible" (Accidental, +935%), alt-rockers Friendly Fires' self-titled debut (XL, + 626%) and folk-rockers Sweet Billy Pilgrim's "Twice Born Men" (Samadhisound, + 600%). Another beneficiary was Speech Debelle's "Speech Therapy" (Big Dada), which experienced a 175% surge.

In line with previous years, there has been a substantial increase in demand for all the shortlisted albums, with sales across the board more than doubling (+107%) at HMV.

HMV compiled the data by tracking sales of all 12 shortlisted albums and comparing public demand at its stores (high street, online & digital) prior to the Mercury announcement and the fortnight that followed.

Comparative data regarding La Roux's "La Roux" (Polydor/Universal), Florence and the Machine's "Lungs" (Island/Universal) and Kasabian's "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" (Columbia/Sony) was not included in the HMV report due to release dates for those albums falling in close proximity to the Mercury nomination. HMV declined to reveal figures for the other four nominated albums; Bat for Lashes' "Two Suns" (Parlophone/EMI), Led Bib's "Sensible Shoes" (Cuneiform Records), Lisa Hannigan's "Sea Sew" (Hoop/Absolute) and the Horrors' "Primary Colours" (XL).

"We're encouraged that the uplift in sales seems to reflect the music buying public's willingness to act upon the Prize's recommendations," said Dan Ford, Barclaycard Mercury Prize director of marketing, in a statement. "There are 12 exciting and diverse albums on this year's shortlist and it's great news that the prize has the ability to help people discover new music in this way."