According to stats recently shared with Digital Music News by Nielsen Soundscan, more than two-thirds (or 67 percent) of all vinyl albums in the US were sold by indie record stores last year.
And this is a booming niche: last year, vinyl sales reached 3.9 million units, the biggest mark in two decades and a 39 percent gain over 2010. That’s still about one-percent of broader album sales, but a rare example of growth in the physical category.
All of which raises a major problem: vinyl is on a serious comeback, but the main driver of those sales is drying up. Last year, neighborhood fixtures like Atlanta-based Criminal Records were threatened with shutdown, and even bigger outlets like Amoeba Records are struggling to find their footing.
In 2010, indie retailers accounted for an even more impressive 71 percent of all vinyl sales in the US.