Time for our semi-regular wax sales update! Last year, vinyl sales in the U.S. grew 25.9% to 7.2 million units, while over in the UK, sales rose 53% to 3.2 million units, the same volume last reached in 1991. With turntables and other accessories factored into the mix, sales will likely reach the $1 billion mark by the end of the year. Bottom line: vinyl is a business that won’t stop roaring back, according to a recent report from Digital Music News.
DM News further reports that, after nearly 25 years of being out of operation, Jamaica’s oldest pressing plant has returned to action. Meanwhile, Warner has also launched a vinyl-only label dubbed Run Out Groove, and Sony will once again manufacture records in Tokyo after 30 years.
Speaking about the appeal of the vinyl format, a 28-year-old consumer told NPR, “The way I consumed music has been so instant and so immediate, especially with Spotify and online streaming services. I kind of just want to go back to the way I used to listen to it as a kid.”
We here at HRAC can’t argue with that logic.
Nielsen Music noted that vinyl records have risen 3.1% to 9.35 million units in 2017. During the same period last year, the company reported 9.07 million vinyl records sold. Underscoring vinyl records’ strength in the music industry, the format now represents nearly 14% of all physical album sales in the U.S., an all-time high.
The best-selling vinyl record in 2017 to date is The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As most of us know, Sgt. Pepper is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and it has already moved 40,000 units so far in 2017.
And what about streaming, you ask? Recently, Nielsen Music released its Q3 music industry insights for the 9-month period ending September 28, 2017. The metrics company found that weekly on-demand audio streaming has surpassed 8.3 billion. Nielsen Music also registered 287 billion audio streams so far, a 59.4% increase over the same period last year. Combined with video, on-demand streams have surpassed 442 billion streams, up 40.4% from last year.
Meanwhile, song ownership has once again experienced a significant decrease. Physical album sales were down 18.3%. Showing that consumers have increasingly switched to streaming, digital album and track sales decreased 19.5% and 23.1%, respectively.