The importance of the UK's digital music market is clearly underlined with news that UK acts dominate this year's list of million-selling artists in Europe, according to the BPI.
Digital sales now account for 50 per cent of the UK singles market and 4 per cent of UK album sales. EMI CEO Alain Levy recently confirmed his company expects 25 per cent of its revenue to come from digital downloads by 2010.
British artists such as The Kooks, Sugababes and Katie Melua have scooped 19 of the 36 IFPI Platinum Awards made this year to artists selling over a million copies of an album across Europe.
The UK's success in producing European million-sellers compares favourably with other major European territories and the USA, which has achieved 12 awards this year - two of them for the UK-signed Scissor Sisters.
The UK's best-performing artist was Robbie Williams who has received Platinum Awards for three separate albums this year. Cumulative sales of the three titles in Europe now exceed 12 million. Other UK acts making their mark include Coldplay with X&Y, Radiohead with OK Computer, and Gorillaz with Demon Days.
Underlining the current boom in new UK music, six of the 19 UK Platinum Award winners are 2006 releases and five are debuts.
BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: "These latest figures confirm that we are going through a golden age for new UK music, even by our own high standards. The success UK music is enjoying today bodes well for future years because as ever in music, it’s the hits of today which pay for the hits of tomorrow.”
The UK's haul of Platinum Awards for 2006 is likely to go even higher when releases by Arctic Monkeys, Snow Patrol, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keane and Razorlight are finally accounted.