Bastille’s Pompeii celebrates tenth anniversary by selling over a million copies in the UK

by Patria

A rare feat in the year 2023, Pompeii is only the 180th song in the history of the Official Chart to reach this milestone.

“How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” sings Bastille’s Dan Smith in the chorus of the band’s booming Pompeii – but that lyric couldn’t be less applicable to today’s news, as the band’s 2013 breakthrough single crosses the one million sales threshold to officially become one of the UK’s biggest hits of all time, according to the Official Charts Company.

The four-piece become the latest act to earn a place in the history books as Pompeii officially achieves mega-hit status. The song has surpassed one million pure sales in the UK, with 1.002 million downloads and physical sales, according to the Official Charts Company.

Pompeii is only the 180th song of all time to reach the million-seller mark, and since streaming is now the dominant way to consume music, that figure isn’t likely to get any higher.

For a band to achieve a million-selling single in 2023 is no small feat. The way we consume music has changed significantly over the past decade, with streaming now accounting for 98.7% of single consumption in the UK in 2022. Downloads and physical singles now represent a tiny fraction of UK singles consumption, a testament to the enduring appeal of Pompeii’s eerie majesty.

The number of million-selling singles skyrocketed in the early 2010s as music downloads reached fever pitch, transforming the singles market by making the purchase of songs as simple as the click of a button. But the number of tracks joining the exclusive “million-seller club” has since slowed with the advent of streaming. In 2020, the Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris entered the bestseller list, and in 2022, Taylor Swift’s perky Shake It Off became the 179th million-selling single in the UK.

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