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Still a Fad? Vinyl Sales Are Up 100% In Britain…

ukvinylsales2008-2013

The vinyl resurgence we’ve been discussing isn’t just confined to the US.  In fact, the explosion is even bigger in Britain, at least on a percentage basis.

The BPI, which represent Britain’s recorded music industry, has announced that vinyl sales in the UK are higher than they’ve been in a decade.  Last year, vinyl sales reached sales level of £5.7 million according to the Entertainment Research Association (ERA); this year, the BPI says that figure could easily reach £12 million.

Let’s see how this little trend progresses.  Wax now makes up 0.8% of all albums sold, which doesn’t seem like much but utterly dwarfs the paltry 0.1% from 2007.

So far in 2013, the UK has seen 550,000 LPs purchased, 100% more than the amount sold last year. In comparison, 4.1 million units have been sold in the US, 30% more than last year.

 

roughtrade

 

The BPI also highlighted the importance of Record Store Day in this revival, as £2 million ($3.2m) in LPs were sold on Britain’s ‘RSD 2013′. The US version of the unofficial holiday saw 200,000 records sold.

Beyond cool album art and better sound, MP3 download cards are often a selling factor for vinyl. The format is a shining light in an industry that has taken a prolonged nosedive, with UK-based album sales plunging at record rates.

 

Images: (top) Digital Music News, using data from Entertainment Research Association (ERA); (middle) Death Waltz Recording Co., licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Comments (11)
  1. Make B.S. illegal

    I have never wanted to be alarmist about this phenomenon before, but it seems we might actually have a smug disaster coming soon.

    Smug alert!


    Reply
    1. GGG

      Who cares, people can be an asshole all they want if it makes them buy music again.


      Reply
  2. Jason Miles

    I understand the fascination of Vinyl, However your not really listening to vinyl the way it was supposed to be listened to. The beauty of vinyl is that the recording chain is all analog, Recording to mixing to mastering is all analog. That was the beauty of vinyl.It was warm and had a beautiful sound and vibe. Now the path includes digital recording in protools and mastering digital as well. The analog signal path doesn’t exist anymore and the true sound of vinyl is not there. I’m sure it sounds really good in 2013 but the warmth that made us buy albums and what made them sound great,listen after listen is not there anymore
    Peace, Jason


    Reply
    1. GGG

      Shhhh, don’t ruin the facade!


      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      It’s still possible to get nice sounding vinyl that’s all or mostly analog and has that warmth. When properly done, vinyl cut from a high rez digital source can sound wonderful. If you care about sound quality, you have to do some research into what you are buying. Just as with CD’s (or any format), some sound recordings good and some don’t.

      But saying “The analog signal path doesn’t exist anymore and the true sound of vinyl is not there” is just silly bullshit.


      Reply
    3. Erik P

      There’s much more to people liking vinyl that you’re not taking into consideration. It also has to do with it’s tangibility, aesthetics and collectibility; all things you cannot get from digital.


      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Couple of thoughts on the topic:
    Buying vinyl is a niche activity like


    Reply
  4. FarePlay

    Why vinyl is important. It represents a different relationship between the artist and their audience, their music and their identity, much of which has been lost in the digital age. Why anyone would come out with hostility and contempt for this renewed interest in LPs is frankly beyond me.

    This kind of thinking represents a my way or the highway type of mentality that should really have no place in the arts. If music and film and literature and every art form are about celebrating the diversity of mankind, than why can we not celebrate diversity in how art is made. While few filmmakers and photographers still use film, it has it’s own intrinsinc beauty, different than digital. Why celebrate it’s demise or actively participate in its disappearance?

    I don’t think anyone is so isolated from reality to not see the pervasive transition to digital, but to bow to it as all powerful is something I will not do. We are not so clueless as to understand that vinyl is a niche product surrounded by a vast ocean of digital files, but I for one celebrate the renewed interest in LPs, especially with the “few” from the younger generation who embrace it.


    Reply
    1. A-J Charron

      This is so well said! Kudos to you. I agree 100% The vinyl experience goes way beyond the music.


      Reply
  5. Johnny B Gregory

    To add to FarePlay’s great comment… Vinyl is potentially much more than the large disk you can hold in your hands, with amazing art, sleeve stuffers and readable lyrics. First, because the artist-producer-label is releasing it on vinyl at all, they LIKELY have mastered it with more dynamic range. Ironic, of course, because CDs and digital files CAN inherently offer much greater dynamic range. But these days, commercial music is largely brickwall limited for loudness and not for listener enjoyment and/or highly compressed on the broadcast/radio end anyway… so one way or another music today is very unlike the releases of old which had a baked-in limit to how “loud” they could be (before the needle jumped out of the groove!). And the other big difference is that vinyl was collected and played (“consumed”) differently than the habit today of streaming and perhaps buying a track here and a track there. Back in the heyday of vinyl, the “album” ruled and not only was usually played in its entirety, but was listened to in the company of OTHERS (i.e., not to one’s self only, alone, or at least in one’s own world, connected to a mobile device by ear buds). The very nature of the vinyl format (turntable, big honkin amplifier, cabinet speakers, friends in the room) practically demanded that listeners sat down and took the time to enjoy the music. Together! How foreign does that concept seem today? Anyway, I’m glad vinyl is supposedly making a big comeback. For all the reasons above, I can’t help but think it could be only good for music and the music industry. My two cents. ;)


    Reply
  6. Pingback: What’s behind the surge in vinyl sales?

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