UK retailers blame ‘weak’ release schedule for lack of sales in 2013

ERA general manager says lack of big releases was to blame for decline in album sales

UK retailers have cited a “weak” schedule of albums and singles as the reason behind a decline in sales figures for both in 2013.

Despite major artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Arcade Fire and David Bowie all releasing albums in the past 12 months, a senior member of staff at UK retail body ERA has stated a lack of major releases was behind a 6.4 per cent decline in album sales in the UK in 2013 and a 3.4 per cent slide in single sales over the same period.

ERA general manager Kim Bayley, said in the company’s annual round-up, via Music Week, that “Music’s performance is primarily due to a weak release schedule, which is particularly disappointing given the huge investment by digital services in music’s future.” Bayley adds, “Retailers will be hoping that labels deliver bigger hits in 2014.”

ERA represents music retailers such as HMV, Rough Trade, Amazon and Tesco as well as streaming platforms Spotify, Deezer, O2 Tracks and

One Direction‘s ‘Midnight Memories’ was recently named as the biggest-selling album of 2013. The boyband’s third album overtook Emeli Sande‘s debut ‘Our Version Of Events’ to top the year’s sales charts. The Official Charts Company report the album sold more than 685,000 copies in the five weeks since its release.

Scottish singer Sandé’s album has sold 683,000 this year, and looked like it was going to be the biggest seller for the second year running after shifting around 1.4 million copies during 2012. The figures mean no album by a single artist has reached a million sales in 2013, for the first time in more than 20 years.