Total digital music sales in the UK have hit 1 billion pounds sterling barrier for the first time since the launch of legal online music service in 2004.

The BPI (music industry trade body) figures show £1,014 million is spent since the time it has launched.

Consumers had spent almost one third of the £1 billion figure (£316.5m) last year alone.

The 2010 sales were driven by the album Adele’s 21, which became the best-selling digital album of all time in the UK.

If retail prices had kept track with inflation, in 2010 the average album would have cost £14.56, the industry group notes.

Record companies are happy to see the climbing trend of digital music listeners.

Adele’s 21, continues to be the biggest-selling digital record in the UK this week, overtaking Lady GaGa's The Fame , was previously the only album to have sold more than 250,000 copies online along with the Kings of Leon's 'Only By The Night' and Florence and the Machine's 'Lungs' close behind.

A total of 34 of the popular digital music albums have now been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

The BPI figures show the average price of an album has fallen steadily since digital sales were introduced, from £10.02 in 2004 to £7.32 last year, making it cheaper for the consumers.