The Story Of My Life hitmakers continued their huge success thanks to millions in record sales and their online presence, and bosses at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) have named them the most prominent act of last year.
After hearing the news, bandmember Niall Horan said: "Incredible news. It's great to have a chart that includes everything from iTunes and record stores, to YouTube and Spotify.
"Again a huge thank you to all of our fans for such an amazing 2013."
Music mogul Simon Cowell congratulated the band via Twitter, writing: "So One Direction were the biggest selling artists in 2013. I know how much they put into this record from start to finish. Very proud.
"And I also want to thank the other writers the producers the team at Syco, Modest their management and Sony Worldwide.
"I have said it before and will say it again...(they have) the greatest group of fans. Why can't there be an award for the best fans at the Grammys."
Rap superstar Eminem came in at number two fon the list ollowing release of his hit album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 in November.
The top five was rounded out by Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.