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BLIGHTY'S BIGGEST SELLERS OF 2016

Despite 2016 being a slow year for breakthrough British talent, the best-selling album year-end list features a host of homegrown acts who’ve shifted an impressive amount of units. So why is there just one U.K. act in the Top 10 singles list?

North American repertoire is king when it comes to popular singles on streaming services in Blighty, offering less opportunity for British acts to top the chart with streaming now accounting for 80% of the singles market.

There were 11 #1 singles in the U.K. last year and eight of those (73%) came from projects that were developed outside of the Queen’s isle, giving the Brits just 27% of those 11 opportunities at home. The BBC has been told to offer more playlist spots to British acts this year, and Spotify’s playlist team has pledged to promote U.K. music. Will efforts have proven successful come year end?

Jason Iley’s Sony has the most entries in the Official Charts’ best-selling singles Top 10 of 2016 with five. David Joseph's UMG is second place with four, and Max Lousada's WMG takes third with one. Counting digital, physical and streaming equivalents, the tally, with total sales last year where obtained, goes: 

  1. “One Dance” Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla (Island) 1.95m (530k downloads and 142m streams)
  2. “7 Years” Lukas Graham (Warner Bros) 1.49m (630k downloads)
  3. “Cheap Thrills” Sia (RCA) 1.46m
  4. “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” Mike Posner (Island) 1.38m
  5. “This Is What You Came For” Calvin Harris f/Rihanna (Columbia) 1.28m
  6. “Lush Life” Zara Larsson (Black Butter) 1.16m
  7. “Closer” Chainsmokers f/Halsey (RCA) 1.15m
  8. “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber (Virgin EMI) 1.14m
  9. “Work” Rihanna f/Drake (Virgin EMI) 1.13m
  10. “Can’t Stop The Feeling” Justin Timberlake (RCA) 1.13m

There were 37 #1 albums in the U.K last year, with 25 of those British born (68%). Seven albums in the Official Charts’ best-sellers of 2016 were released by U.K. artists. The major labels tie with three entries each, while XL takes the top spot with Adele for the second year in a row. 95% of 25’s sales last year were physical and digital purchases, despite arriving on streaming services in June.

  1. 25 Adele (XL) 753k
  2. A Head Full of Dreams Coldplay (Parlophone) 512k
  3. Together Michael Ball & Alfie Boe (Decca) 512k
  4. Purpose Justin Bieber (Virgin EMI) 479k (most streamed YTD with 314k streaming equivalents)
  5. The Wonder of You Elvis Presley (Sony Music CG) 458k
  6. Blackstar David Bowie (RCA) 410k
  7. Glory Days Little Mix (Syco) 409k
  8. Views Drake (Island) 387k
  9. I Cry When I Laugh Jess Glynne (Atlantic)
  10. Best of Bowie David Bowie (Parlophone) 329k
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