Sales of Vinyl 45s Grew 99.6 Percent In 2011

Vinyl is officially booming, but this retro explosion is going beyond full-length LPs.

According to data just released by the RIAA, US-based sales of 45s – categorized as ‘vinyl singles’ – surged 99.6 percent in 2011.  This is based on the retail price of units shipped, which means this only counts new stuff – and not the considerable volume of dusty used 45s.

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Also check out: “It’s Official: Vinyl Sales Up 39 Percent In 2011…

And the best part?  This format had been declining since 2001, and by all predictions, heading towards zero.

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Unit sales increases were actually quite mild, which means that 45s are suddenly fetching a bigger price tag.  And that signals lots of demand ahead.

But wait, there’s more!  Because there also seems to be a resurgence in 78s, or 10″ wax.  Just this week, Tompkins Square started releasing 78s, specifically for Ralph Stanley and Luther Dickinson.  “A lot of new turntables play 78s, and many 78 collectors listen to their records on modern equipment,” said label founder Josh Rosenthal.  “Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe have all recently released 78s. So I thought it would be fun to start a line of them.”


14 Responses

  1. @JustinLev

    I certainly contributed my fair share to this number.

  2. @FakeNLebrecht

    I just need to write a story about how 78s destroyed the download, the circle will be complete and we can start over.

  3. @manger_msw

    For being Digital News It sounds like an oxymoron, right?

    • Visitor

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  4. Visitor

    Would someone kindly explain the appeal? I ask this without intention to offend.

    I collect vinyl LPs, as often the sound quality is superior to digital formats, especially for music recorded during the vinyl era.

    Is this the case with 45s, though? I thought 45s were often very cheaply and poorly pressed….



    • MisterSoftee

      This has nothing to do with sound quality! It’s all 100% nostalgia.

      • Erik P

        Wrong. One, vinylphiles have never stopped listening to vinyl (yes, it’s the sound quality). Two, there is an unmatchable experience that goes along with purchasing/listening to vinyl that digital will never give. Three, some people are attracted to the aesthetics (colored vinyl, packaging, artwork, etc.) & enjoy collecting limited editions. Again this can’t be reproduced by digital. And finally, a lot respond to the tangibility. They get to hold something in their hands after a purchase. In my opinion, it’s a direct response to digital lacking all those characteristics.

  5. @WeGetDigital

    That’s interesting. We’ve got loads in the attic.

  6. 45 collector

    45s are less compressed than LPs. For example, play a song from the original 1960s LP and then play the same song from the original 1960s 45. Especially on a venue sound system, you will notice that the 45 is much louder, and the high and low ends are much more pronounced. 45s really explode off the turntable.

  7. @_pv09

    The future belongs to the Analog royalists. Fuck Digital.