Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Pop overtakes rock in music charts

Lady Gaga has been riding high in the charts

Rock has hit a hard place after sales slipped behind pop for the first time in seven years thanks to the likes of Lady Gaga and Adele, new music industry figures show.

Best-selling albums by Jessie J and Gaga, and Adele's hugely successful 21, have helped pop to leapfrog traditional guitar bands in terms of sales.

In fact rock has seen its lowest showing since 2003, now accounting for 29.4% of album sales. It marks a 12% plummet from a 2004 high point, when it had a 41.5% share.

The drop comes despite big sellers such as Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto and Noel Gallagher's solo debut High Flying Birds, although the pair were the only rock entries in the year-end top 20.

Singles sales for rock proved even more disastrous as the proportion of the music market overall halved in five years. In 2007, rock accounted for 37% of singles sales but in 2011 that was down just 18%, figures compiled by the Official Charts Company have revealed.

At the same time pop's seen its share climb from 19.6% to 36% over the same five-year period. Album-wise, pop soared from 30.9% to 33.6% in a year, marking the largest slice of music sales since 1999 - a year which saw Shania Twain and Boyzone as the biggest sellers.

Folk music grabbed its largest chunk of the UK market this century, accounting for 1.6% of 2011 album sales.

That amounts to almost a 20% rise in a year, and comes in a year that saw the folk-tinged band Mumford And Sons take the Brit Award for best album for Sigh No More.

However dance music had a further decline dipping to below 5% of the album market. Sales have dropped by 40% since 2007.

The new figures were released by music industry body the BPI.

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