U.K. Music Sales Hit Three-Year High for First Month of 2013

Anne Hathway Les Miserables - P 2013

Anne Hathway Les Miserables - P 2013

The soundtrack to "Les Miserables" is the best-selling album so far this year, while will.i.am featuring Britney Spears’ "Scream And Shout" is the top single.

LONDON -- The new year has gotten off to a strong start for U.K. music sales.

Sales of singles and albums, in physical and digital form, are up 11.6 percent for the first four weeks of 2013, the Official Charts Company and the Entertainment Retailers Association said Wednesday. That marked a three-year high for the opening weeks of the year.

Data from the Official Charts Company shows that sales of music have been higher in each of the first four weeks of 2013 than in the corresponding weeks of 2012.

The best-selling single year-to-date is will.i.am featuring Britney Spears’ "Scream And Shout" with 234,000 copies sold. Since the song's release in December, it has sold 513,000 copies in the U.K.

The soundtrack to Les Miserables is the biggest-selling album so far this year with 118,000 copies sold in the U.K.

For all of 2012, U.K. music sales dropped 5.5 percent compared with 2011.

The first week of 2013 saw sales increase 15.3 percent, followed by gains of 3.8 percent, 14.2 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively, for the following weeks.

“This is an extremely positive result and a great start to the year,” said Entertainment Retailers Association director general Kim Bayley about the positive trends over the first four weeks of 2013. “It certainly demonstrates that there is far more robust demand for music than is often assumed."

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai