Big Releases From Sam Smith & Ed Sheeran Help Pop Sales Overtake Rock in the U.K.

From Billboard:

Big-selling records from homegrown artists such as Sam Smith, Paloma Faith and Ed Sheeran have helped pop overtake rock as the most popular music genre in the United Kingdom.

According to new figures released by labels trade body the BPI, pop accounted for more than a third (34.5%) of album sales in the U.K. in 2014 – its highest level since 1999. Pop also made up almost half (48.8%) of the compilations market, claiming six of the top 10 biggest-sellers of the year.

For a sixth consecutive year, the genre also ruled the singles market, making up more than a third (36%) of all singles sold.

Historically pop has long vied with rock as the most popular music genre in the U.K., with four out of the last seven years seeing rock land the biggest share of the albums market. In 2013, it was once again the leading genre, accounting for 33.8% of all albums sold.

Although 2014 saw pop narrowly overtake rock, new albums by Royal Blood, Foo Fighters and AC/DC helped the genre maintain its popularity among U.K. record buyers and account for 33.2% of the U.K. albums market.