Sales of physical CD albums in the United Kingdom slipped by 10% during the first half of 2007, according to over-the-counter sales figures released today by the BPI.

CD album sales declined to 57.9 million units during the first six months, the Official U.K. Charts Company's data reveals.

This led to a combined (physical and digital) albums decline by 7.7% to 60.2 million units in the first six months, compared with 65.2 million units in the first half 2006.

However, sales of digital and compilation albums rose to partly compensate the drop-off. The BPI reported growth by 2.1 million units of digital albums during the first six months of this year.

For Geoff Taylor, the BPI's CEO, the CD album's dominance of the sector should not be ignored. With 96.5% of albums sold as physical product, he said: "Consumers vote with their pay packets and 58 million CD album sales in just six months is a very significant number indeed. Album units have dipped year on year, but we are still selling 32% more CDs than 10 years ago."

The period saw digital sales surpass 100,000 units a week, a sign that "digital sales are starting to have a real impact on the albums market," the BPI report stated. But it was not enough to cover the 6.5 million units shortfall of physical albums.

The singles format, however, continued to thrive in the digital format. Downloadable singles jumped 49.9% to 36.4 million units, meaning about 90% of all singles sold in the United Kingdom were sold online or via mobile-phone platforms.