Digital single downloads in 2011 — reaching a record high at 177.9m — made up the majority of the market, with only 1.1m physical CD singles bought according to the BPI.
Conversely, despite Adele's '21' selling 3.8m copies, CD album sales experienced a 12.6% fall to 86.2m.
In more positive news, sales of digital versions of albums rose to 26.6m and now accounts for nearly a quarter of all albums sold. However, the surge in digital downloads couldn't prevent the 5.6% dip in overall album sales — the seventh year-on-year drop since 2004.
Five of the Top 10 best-selling albums of 2011 were by British artists (Jessie J, Colplay, Adele (2) and Ed Sheeran) but BPI CEO Geoff Taylor said that "while other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our Government is taking too long to act on piracy". He warned: "unless decisive action is taken in 2012, investment in music could fall again — a creative crunch that will … mean the next Adele may not get her chance to shine on the world stage."
Yeah alright dad calm down.