Strong sales of digital singles during the first half of the year look set to make 2013 another record year for music singles sales in the U.K., the Official Charts Company is predicting.
"2013 looks to become the biggest year for singles sales in British history," said the firm that compiles music charts data in Britain. "The entire top 10 singles [year-to-date] have sold more than half a million copies each, while nearly three quarters of the top 40 have sold over 300,000 copies each."
Overall, download sales of singles are up 2.5 percent at the mid-year mark. The Official Charts Company didn't detail the sales figure for the first half of 2013. Total singles sales in the U.K. rose 6 percent in 2012 to 188.6 million, with digital sales accounting for 99.6 percent.
Singles sales have been on a particularly strong run over the past three months. Britain has seen 11 weeks in a row in which the top-selling single has sold more than 100,000 copies. The last time this was the case was in 1998, according to the Official Charts Company.
It is a vastly different scenario in the U.S., where this week's Nielsen SoundScan mid-year numbers showed digital singles slowing by 2.3% to 682.2 million units and album sales decreasing 5.6% to 142 million units, year-over-year.
Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky" featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers is the best-selling single in the U.K. so far this year with more than one million copies sold since its release just 10 weeks ago.
Robin Thicke’s "Blurred Lines," which features T.I. and Williams, has sold more than 828,000 copies over the last month, No. 2 for the year-to-date and ahead of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ "Thrift Shop," which features Wanz (more than 680,000 copies sold).
Meanwhile, U.K. album sales at the mid-year mark are led by the 84th edition of the popular "Now That’s What I Call Music" compilation, which has sold more than 658,000 copies, followed by Emeli Sande’s "Our Version of Events" with 536,000 sold copies. Overall, it has sold 1.9 million copies since its Feb. 2012 release.