Pop albums outsold rock albums in 2011 for the first time in seven years in the UK.
Pop singles also saw a boost, which outsold rock singles by two to one over the year, according to NME.
The Official Charts Company, the UK equivalent of Billboard, said seven of the top 10 albums of 2011 were classified as pop albums. They were likely given a boost by Adele's staggering run at the top of the chart.
Rock album sales fell from 31.2% to 29.4%, marking its lowest sales figures since 2003. Big rock releases from the likes of Coldplay
and Noel Gallagher
were not enough to stem the drop.
Folk music sales rose to 1.6% - a low figure in comparison to other genres, but the rise is seen as a comeback thanks to new folk heroes like Laura Marling and Bellowhead.
Head of the British Phonographic Industry Geoff Taylor was quick to remind observers that the drop in rock sales does not signal its death, noting that rock still accounts for almost one third of all music sales:
"2011 was a vintage year for pop albums so it is hardly surprising that the genre has elbowed rock aside as the nation’s favourite. Although rock’s share is the lowest for eight years, it still accounts for three in ten of every albums sold so recent reports of its demise are premature."
Similar comparisons for US charts have not been made public.
In a special report over the weekend, UG investigated claims that rock as a genre was dead to the mainstream. Instead, we found more examples of rock artists in today's top 10 Billboard chart than 5 years ago.