Vinyl album sales have once again hit another Nielsen Music-era record high, as 14.32 million LPs were sold in 2017. That’s up 9 percent from the previous one-year high of 13.1 million, which occurred in 2016.
The surge in music streaming also continued throughout 2017. Overall consumption of albums, songs, and audio on-demand streaming grew 12.5% year over year. A 59% increase in on-demand audio streams offset track and album sales declines.
For the first time ever, R&B/hip-hop became the most dominant genre, with seven of the top 10 most-consumed albums coming from that genre. The popularity of R&B/hip-hop was powered by a 72% increase in on-demand audio streaming.
Highlights from the 2017 U.S. Music Year-End Report, as culled via a recent report in Billboard, are as follows:
- Ed Sheeran’s Divide was the leader in total volume (albums + track equivalent albums + on-demand audio streaming equivalent albums), followed by Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and Taylor Swift’s Reputation
- Latin music history was made when Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Spanish-language smash “Despacito” and its crossover remix featuring Justin Bieber topped the Hot 100 chart. “Despacito” was the biggest song of the year in terms of total activity (sales + on-demand audio streaming equivalents), followed by Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and “Humble.” by Kendrick Lamar
- “Despacito” and “Shape of You” also led the Digital Song Sales chart, followed by Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” at No. 3
- Vinyl had a renaissance at retail by experiencing sales growth for the 12th consecutive year, comprising 14% of all physical album sales. The top-selling vinyl LP of the year was the 50th anniversary re-release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
2017 marks the 12th straight year of growth in vinyl album sales, Billboard noted. The format continues to increase in sales as more new and classic albums are issued on vinyl, promotion from retailers like Amazon, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, as well as annual vinyl-oriented celebrations like Record Store Day.
Vinyl LP sales represented 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 – up from 6.5 percent for the configuration’s share in 2016. Further, LP sales were 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017 (a Nielsen-era record share for the format) – up from 11 percent in 2016. Vinyl album sales were driven by an array of titles, not just a handful of hot sellers. In total, 77 different titles each sold more than 20,000 copies on vinyl LP in 2017, as compared to 58 in 2016.
As usual, rock music, by far, drives most vinyl album sales, as the genre accounted for 67 percent of all vinyl album sales in 2017 (versus 69 percent in 2016).
The Beatles finish 2017 with the top two selling vinyl LPs of the year: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (72,000 — powered in large part by the album’s deluxe 50th anniversary reissue in 2017) and Abbey Road (66,000). The soundtrack Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is the third biggest with 62,000. Comparably, in 2016, the top three sellers were Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface (68,000), David Bowie’s Blackstar (66,000), and Adele’s 25 (58,000).
|TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2017 IN U.S.|
|1||The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band||72,000|
|2||The Beatles, Abbey Road||66,000|
|3||Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1||62,000|
|4||Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)||62,000|
|5||Amy Winehouse, Back to Black||58,000|
|6||Prince and The Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)||58,000|
|7||Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…||49,000|
|8||Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon||54,000|
|9||Soundtrack, La La Land||49,000|
|10||Michael Jackson, Thriller||49,000|
|Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 30, 2016 through Dec. 28, 2017|