Pop overtook rock music again in 2012, accounting for 33 per cent of album sales

Pop music remained the most popular type of music in the UK last year (2012) for the second year running, according to figures released by the BPI.

Chart-topping albums from the likes of Emeli Sande, Adele, Ed Sheeran and One Direction helped pop music maintain its dominance over the album charts, with 33.5 per cent of album sales falling into the genre.

However, big-selling albums from the likes of Mumford and Sons – who scored the top-selling rock album of the year – and Coldplay helped rock take 31.3 per cent of album sales in 2012. This is still way off rock’s 2006 peak of a 41.5 per cent share of UK album sales in 2006, but an increase on 2011’s figure of 29.4 per cent.

R&B saw a slight decline in sales in 2012, accounting for 7.2 per cent of album sales, while dance music saw a slight increase to 6.3 per cent of sales.

In the singles market, pop music grabbed its biggest share for over ten years, accounting for 38.5 per cent of all sales. Rock singles made up 20 per cent of the market, while dance got 13.8 per cent, R&B 12.3 per cent and hip hop 10.7 per cent.

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said in a statement, “British music fans’ love affair with pop music continued in 2012, fuelled by strong album releases from home-grown talent. But there is good news for rock fans too, with the genre fighting back to its strongest performance since 2008.”

He added: “In the singles market, Pop grabbed its biggest share for ten years. The great range of digital music services in the UK, integrated into many mobile devices, is making it easy for younger music fans to get into buying music.”