The 150 millionth music download was sold in the UK last week, according to the BPI. However, despite the growth in online music sales, the BPI reports that CD sales are climbing as Christmas approaches, with new releases from James Blunt, Foo Fighters, the Eagles and Westlife all selling more than 100,000 copies in their week of release.

Strong CD sales impacted on digital, with the 150 millionth legal download purchased in Britain last week, which the BPI says is an important step in the evolution of the UK recorded music business.

Changes to chart rules mean artists can chart on digital sales alone by marketing effectively to fanbases online.

Gnarls Barkley became the first act to achieve this feat in April 2006 and high-profile acts now regularly enter the top five on download sales alone.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "Digital has given the British single a shot in the arm, and music fans now have millions of songs from which to select each week's number one. But strong retail support for physical singles is still essential to turn a popular song into a number one single and many music fans still prefer physical product and the in-store experience."