ACTS such as Adele and Maroon 5 have helped push the UK record industry to a new milestone with the one billionth download of a digital single.
The volume of sales for downloads has exploded in recent years to the extent that barely any physical singles are sold.
The billionth download was bought on Monday night, according to data tracking by the Official Charts Company.
The company’s figures also show that Adele’s Someone Like You is the most downloaded track ever in the UK, with Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera at number two with Moves Like Jagger.
Downloading took off in a major way in 2004, the same year that a separate sales chart was launched, and figures went on to be included in the main singles chart the following year.
Download sales for singles now run to more than three million each week, and last year they hit new heights with 188.6 million tracks sold. The one billion figure includes album tracks which are bought individually.
Chief executive of the BPI Geoff Taylor said: “The digital music revolution has made it easy to buy any song you like, instantly, for half the price of a coffee. As fans increasingly download music on the move, tablets, smartphones and connected cars will drive another phase in digital music’s expansion.”
Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot said: “The explosion in download sales means we are genuinely now living in the digital music age – with Adele as our queen.”