UK Album Downloads Chart

The UK Album Downloads Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the music industry. Since July 2015, the chart week runs from Friday to Thursday, with the chart date given as the following Thursday.[1] The chart was introduced in April 2006 to coincide with the OCC's decision to include sales of album downloads in the UK Albums Chart.[2] The first album to top the download chart was This New Day by Embrace.[3]

In April 2006, English alternative rock band Embrace (pictured on stage) became the first act to top the UK Album Downloads Chart, with their album This New Day.

The chart is published in Music Week, UKChartsPlus and on the OCC's official website, with the former featuring the Top 75 downloads and the top 100 in the latter two. The chart only uses sales of permanent digital downloads, that is album-downloads on non-subscription online music stores.


Before the inauguration of the download chart, only sales of physical formats—such as CD, vinyl and cassette tape—contributed towards an album's position on the UK Albums Chart. In 2004, in response to falling physical sales of singles, a downloads-only singles chart was introduced by the Official Charts Company (OCC); the following year, downloads were implemented into the UK Singles Chart.

In the first three months of 2006, more than 825,000 albums were legally downloaded, almost half of the entire total downloaded in 2005.[2] In response, a digital albums chart was launched in April 2006, alongside the OCC's decision to include downloads in the regular chart.[2] On 9 April 2006, English alternative rock band Embrace topped the first ever UK Album Downloads Chart with their fifth studio album This New Day, which sold around 1,200 digital copies.[3]

Criteria for inclusionEdit

  • The album must be more than three tracks or 20 minutes long and not be classed as a budget album. A budget album costs between £0.50 and £3.75.
  • An Album Bundle without a physical component is eligible to appear in its own right in the Official Album Downloads Chart from release. Once again, this is only if all formats meet the chart rules.[4]

Most-downloaded by yearEdit

Year Album Artist Record label Ref.
2006 Eyes Open Snow Patrol Universal [5]
2007 Back to Black Amy Winehouse Universal [6]
2008 Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends Coldplay EMI [5]
2009 The Fame Lady Gaga Universal [5]
2010 Sigh No More Mumford & Sons Universal [5]
2011 21 Adele Beggars [5]
2012 Unknown Unknown Unknown
2013 Bad Blood Bastille Universal [7]
2014 x Ed Sheeran Warner [8]
2015 25 Adele Beggars [9]
2016 25 Adele Beggars [10]
2017 Unknown Unknown Unknown
2018 The Greatest Showman Motion Picture Cast Recording Warner [11]
2019 Unknown Unknown Unknown

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c West, Dave (9 April 2006). "Album chart allows downloads from Sunday". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Brandle, Lars (22 April 2006). "Billboard - 22 April 2006 - Page 8". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e "Adele and Ed Sheeran push digital albums sales over the 100 million milestone". London: Official Charts Company. 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  6. ^ Cleland, Gary (12 December 2007). "Amy Winehouse tops year end iTunes chart". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 6412514. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  7. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Artist Albums of 2013". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Artist Albums of 2014". Official Charts Company. 1 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  9. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Artist Albums of 2015". Official Charts Company. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  10. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Artist Albums of 2016". Official Charts Company. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  11. ^ "The Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2018". Official Charts Company.

External linksEdit