The U.K.'s recorded music sales held up in 2009 and performed better in a year-on-year comparison than video and computer games, according to new retail sales data published by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

The trade body's members account for more than 90% of video, games and music sales in the U.K., and range from entertainment retailer HMV, online store Amazon and mass merchants such as Tesco.

ERA said music sales in 2009 (including music video) ended the year down 0.6% by volume for a total of 154.8 million units, and down 0.8% by value to £1.31 billion ($1.97 billion) - the best result for the sector for five years, in terms of limiting decline. It was also impressive considering the demise of Woolworths and Zavvi at the beginning of 2009.

In contrast, the video market saw volume decline of 5.9% and value down 10.6% for £2.11 billion ($3.17 billion), while the computer games market was down 9.5% by volume and 11% by value, for a total of £1.85 billion ($2.78 billion).

The music sector was helped by booming download sales, up 35.7% by volume for single tracks and track bundles to 149.7 million units, and a value of £119.3 million ($179.5 million); and up 56.1% by volume for digital albums to 16.1 million units and a retail value of £119.1 million ($179.2 million).

Big hit albums from Susan Boyle and Lady Gaga also helped the market, but overall album sales were down 3.7% year-on-year by volume to 134.6 million units. The retail market value for all albums was £1.13 billion ($1.70 billion).

However, the music market did benefit from 53 chart weeks for the 2009 sales figures. This also applied to the game and video sectors, so market performance comparisons between those sectors are valid.

"Surging download sales and the huge appeal of SuBo and Gaga show music still has huge appeal for the British public," said Kim Bayley, director general of ERA, in a statement. "It is too soon to call an end to music's decline, but in 2009 entertainment retailers discovered music has still got a lot to offer."