Over the last year, the song “I Gotta Feeling” by the R&B group, The Black Eyed Peas has been immensely popular. The song has now created a new milestone by being the first ever single to be downloaded over 1 million times in the U.K.
“I Gotta Feeling” was released by the band in the beginning of June last year, was at the top of the charts for 2 weeks and then continued to remain in the top 40 for a total of 33 weeks.
The Black Eyed Peas also hold the record for the maximum number of downloads by a single group – a total of 3.3 million, in the U.K.
Martin Talbot, Managing Director of The Official UK Charts Company, says that this is a very significant milestone. While the industry started recognising the importance of downloads as far back as 2005, by counting them as part of the singles charts, this is the first time that a song has actually been legally downloaded so many times.
Initially, downloads were counted only after a CD was made physically available in shops. One year later, the rules were changed, and downloads started getting counted even without a CD release.
Now, 98% of all singles’ sales are through downloads. However, according to record company executives, the easy availability of downloads is only adding to the problem of online piracy, which results in the loss of millions of pounds of revenue to the record companies every year.
While this might be mixed news to the record company, it definitely marks a continued change in the way the U.K. public consumes media. Digital definitely seems to be the way forward. The record companies need to catch up with the rest of the business world and start building a more digital media friendly business model.