Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Vinyl sales in 2017

Yet another weeks late posting ... but one could spend a lot longer than that digging through these amazing statistics.

According to this article in Billboard, vinyl sales have been rising for twelve straight years.   Data from the RIAA's website shows that downloads never gained in sales over twelve straight years.  Since 1973, CDs once had a thirteen year run of rising sales (sixteen straight years in revenue), and cassettes once gained in fifteen straight years (seventeen straight years in revenue).  Vinyl in the peak classic rock era in the 70s never gained for more than six straight years, revenue-wise.  Point being, twelve years of gains is a lot more than a fad. 

But that was only the third most mindblowing stat in the article!  The second most is this: vinyl accounted for 14% of all physical album sales in 2017.  That hasn't happened since 1988.  Since vinyl's early 90's nadir, sales numbers have increased tenfold, but total revenue has increased by a factor of forty!  That points to vinyl being a niche product like never before in its history, with a fiercely loyal minority group of fans willing to spend increasingly more money for a premium format.

The most amazing stat was that top ten sales list.  Where to begin ... The Beatles with the top TWO sellers ... Guardians of the Galaxy mixtape of 60's and 70's rock at #3 (proving that the success of The Beatles "1" at the height of Napster was the rule, not the exception -- people will pay for music if it's packaged and marketed right even if the songs are available in a million other places) ... Ed Sheeran with the only contemporary (i.e. 2017) entry in the top ten ... "Thriller" continues to steadily sell after 35 years ...

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