Ludovico Einaudi has become the first classical artist to sell more digital downloads than physical copies with his new album In A Time Lapse.
In its very first week, the album has shattered the 50% barrier, with a massive 72-to-28 split in favour of digital sales over physical purchases. The sales landmark comes just over a year after the Official Charts Company launched the Official Classical Singles Chart; a recognition of how classical music listeners are increasingly shifting from buying physical releases to digital downloads.
The ever-popular composer, whose work has become a ubiquitous feature ofmany independent and major film and TV productions – including Shane Meadows’ This Is England series – is something of digital download pioneer. The only previous classical album to come close to Einaudi‘s latest achievement was the composer’s own 2011 compilation, Islands, which achieved an exact 50-50 digital-to-physical split in its first week of release.
Einaudi’s downloads accounted for a staggering 13 of the current Official Classical Singles Chart Top 20.
“Since we launched the Official Classical Singles Chart last spring, Ludovico Einaudi has been one of its biggest and most consistent stars – and is at Number 1 and 2 in the current Top 10,” says the Official Chart Company’s Managing Director, Martin Talbot. “Einaudi’s impressive achievement is also a perfect illustration of the coming of age of digital classical music.”
Dickon Stainer, the President of Decca Records who Einaudi is signed to added: “Ludovico is a pioneer of digital transformation for classical music. He’s a trailblazer!”
In 2011, UK MC Professor Green sampled Einaudi’s work for his track, Astronaut, which featured on his Top 5 album, At Your Inconvenience. The year also saw Einaudi‘s work I Giorni climb into the Official Singles Chart Top 40 following a successful campaign by BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James.
The latest chart results were announced yesterday, Sunday January 27, and saw In A Time Lapse debut at Number 1 in the Official Classical Albums Chart, Number 24 on the Official Albums Chart, and at Number 11 on the Official Digital Albums Chart Top 40.
How are digital downloads changing how we access and listen to classical music? Who do you see as the most pioneering modern composers and musicians?