Vinyl record sales at their highest in 30 years

Within the UK and USA, vinyls are selling more than they have in the past 30 years. After seeing a huge push into the digital streaming world, it’s interesting to see people are still favouring older methods. Is this because the music sounds different or is it a case of people enjoying a physical version as a collector’s item?

Pingu listening to a vinyl GIF

Despite supply issues being a concern and multiple releases being pulled from vinyl copies, physical versions of music have started to soar in sales. Both within the UK and USA, sales have continued to rise. They’re at their highest sales for 30 years within these two regions. Streaming stores have put huge pressures on physical copies of music because they just aren’t selling as they used to. People don’t typically want to have to change albums by putting one away and setting up another. Instead, they just want their music to seamlessly switch from one album to another. It’s made life easier while life is moving at a faster pace compared to previous eras.

Vinyl sales within the UK

The British Phonographic Industry has released information showing 5 million vinyl albums have been sold. This is within the past 12 months alone. It’s move up 8% from 2020 which is quite signification as many of us would expect sales of vinyls to be dwindling rather than increasing. Although 8% might not sound crazy, it is quite a large amount considering the rapid decline we have previously seen. Since 2007 vinyl sales have continued to grow each year. However, 2021 saw the highest sales in a very long time.

Within 2021 alone, vinyls contributed significantly to music sales. One in four of the UK albums purchased worked out to be a vinyl copy which is the highest sales since 1990. It seems vinyls came back into fashion as almost a trend. Music lovers got back into them, but also people started buying them for the aesthetic, even if they weren’t particularly a music lover. Vinyl players looked interesting, and it added something quirky to a room. This saw a lot of people previously not interested, suddenly become fascinated by old school music.

Vinyl sales within the US

It’s not just the UK who are reliving the past. The USA have seen impressive statistics when it comes to vinyl listeners. The week before Christmas saw Americans buying 2.11 million vinyl records. For an industry that seems to be dying out at one stage, it’s come back fighting. It seems people are really favouring this method of listening to music. Despite it seeming unlikely that the majority of these listeners only listen to vinyls, it’s still brilliant to see many factor this somewhere into their lives.

Although it has become a trend as mentioned previously. Many music lovers are still listening to vinyl as they believe it offers a raw way of listening that you cannot get through streaming stores. It’s definitely a different method and there are many people who prefer it. Perhaps some that will only listen through vinyl. While streaming stores offer an easier, hassle-free way of listening, they don’t provide an entire process.

The USA has seen it’s biggest sales of vinyls since 1991 which is when music began being tracked by SoundScan. It was also the first time vinyl records have gone above two million within decades. Adele reached 59 million sales and Kid Cudi had 41,500 which increased a huge push in vinyl sales and contributed massively to the overall figures.

So, where do we see music heading in the future? Do we think 2022 will top 2021, and we’ll continue to grow in vinyl sales? Or, do you think it will slowly decrease again? It will be interesting to monitor this. What are your thoughts on vinyl? A trend that isn’t really needed any more, or do you think it does offer a completely different way of hearing music?

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