Vinyl record sales are set for another record breaking year, proving that the only format the rise of digital is killing is the compact disc.
While more and more of us are listening to music via streaming and mp3, for many listeners there’s still a huge appeal in having something tangible and tactile to add to their collection.
Let’s face it: a 12″ vinyl record in a tastefully designed sleeve is just much more handsome than a plastic CD.
Here are six surprising facts about vinyl sales…
1. Vinyl sales are on track for their biggest total in over 20 years
Last year, there were 1.2 million vinyl records sold in the UK. The most in over 20 years. There were sales of 14 million in America.
Research from BPI and Neilson Soundscan suggested growth of vinyl sales in America and the UK of 28% and 56% respectively, in year-to-date sales, putting them on track for their biggest ever year in over two decades.
2. Record sales have actually been on the rise since 1993
Who would have thought it? Sales of vinyl LP’s have been consistently on the rise since 1993. From then until 2013 there was a gradual and consistent growth in sales, while 2013/2014 saw a massive spike in sales, with a staggering 52% growth. This trend looks set to continue this year.
Interestingly, streaming figures grew by 53% in 2013/14, suggesting that we are embracing the old and new simultaneously.
3. Half of record buyers are under 25
This is an interesting one. Apparently millennials love vinyl. Contrary to the stereotypical image of today’s ‘yoof’ listening to Spotify on smartphones, it turns out they actually have a pretty big appetite for vinyl.
While most vinyl buyers will use both formats, it’s reassuring that the format isn’t going to be dying off any time soon.
4. And a man called Zero Freitas buys the rest
— Dixit (@dixitprograma) July 2, 2015
Not really. But the Brazilian tycoon does have the largest vinyl collection in the world with a whopping 6 million records in his personal possession. Freitas started off buying vinyl with his pocket money, finishing high school with over 3,000 LPs to his name. Now, he buys the stock of whole music shops when they go bust and has agents who attend every major European and American record auction. Dedication.
5. The UK’s first ever Official Vinyl Charts were launched this year
The huge surge in sales in 2014 and the 69% increase in album sales in the first quarter of 2015 prompted the Official UK Charts to launch an Official Vinyl Albums Chart Top 40 and an Official Vinyl Singles Chart Top 40, for the first time.
Claims suggesting the surge in sales was purely because more people wanted to make GIFs of their pets spinning on them remain unfounded.
6. The highest valued LP in the world is worth $5 million
According to Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA. Although they are yet to sell it. The legendary hip hop group recorded The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and made only a single copy.
The double LP features 31 unheard Wu tracks and RZA likened its rarity to the “scepter of an Egyptian king”. According to Billboard, the group received multiple offers, the highest being for $5 million. The album comes in two hand-crafted nickel-silver boxes that were made by a Moroccan artist and a team of ten workers, and took three months to make. But they still haven’t actually sold it.