The Best-Selling Vinyl Record of 2017 Was Released 50 Years Ago

Vinyl records just gained another 3.1 percent.  Thanks in part to a little band from the 60s.

Last year, sales in the US grew 25.9% to 7.2 million units.  In the UK, sales rose 53% to 3.2 million units, the same volume last reached in 1991.

With turntables and other accessories, sales will likely reach the $1 billion mark.  It’s a business that won’t stop roaring back.

After nearly 25 years out of operation, Jamaica’s oldest pressing plant has returned to action.  Warner has also launched a vinyl-only label.  In addition, Sony will once again manufacture records in Tokyo after 30 years.

Speaking about the appeal of the format, a 28 year old consumer told the NPR,

The way I consumed music has been so instant and so immediate, especially with Spotify and online streaming services.  I kind of just want to go back to the way I used to listen to it as a kid.

Still think vinyl records are dead?

Vinyl records just scored an all-time sales record.

Yesterday, Nielsen Music released its Q3 music industry insights for the nine month period ending September 28th, 2017.

The metrics company found that weekly on-demand audio streaming has surpassed 8.3 billion.  Nielsen Music also registered 287 billion audio streams so far, a 59.4% increase over the same period last year.  Combined with video, on-demand streams have surpassed 442 billion streams, up 40.4% from last year.

Meanwhile, song ownership has once again experienced a significant decrease.  Physical album sales were down 18.3%.  Showing that consumers have increasingly switched to streaming, digital album and track sales decreased 19.5% and 23.1%, respectively.

And while streaming explodes, so does vinyl records.

Nielsen Music noted that vinyl records have risen 3.1% to 9.35 million units in 2017.   During the same period last year, the company reported 9.07 million vinyl records sold.

Underscoring vinyl records’ strength in the music industry, the format now represents nearly 14% of all physical album sales in the US, an all-time high.

And the best-selling album this year?

That would be The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band became the top selling vinyl album.   The album has already moved 40,000 units so far this year — and was released 50 years ago.


Image by Elisa Lataster (CC by 2.0)

5 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Well we got the end of the vinyl!

    We are also close to Ek’s oversaturation of streaming with semi free all access to music with income growth almost equal to dying downloads and CDs.
    We need just couple more psychos to finish LIVE leg of income for mega stars.

    Sir Lucian!
    At the UMG Castle – PLEASE wake up and start $300B music harvest obvious to an IMBECILE!
    Today Google is your only obstruction – befriend Larry Page and we will see $200B music business by 2025!

  2. I. Dononothin

    “Underscoring vinyl records’ strength in the music industry, the format now represents nearly 14% of all physical album sales in the US, an all-time high.”

    That is incorrect. As the chart linked to below indicates, vinyl records accounted for more than that 60% of pre-recorded music sales until the 1980’s, and was by far the best selling format throughout the 1950’s and 60’s.

  3. Russ

    these numbers look way off for vinyl…I read an article that quoted Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 as the biggest selling vinyl album of the year with over 42,000 sales according to BuzzAngle Music. I think the nielsen numbers are misleading…. again

  4. David Album

    Vinyl Records are a huge trend not only for college students but the 40+ crowd that grew up buy and listening to LPs for entertainment. Access to 1,000’s of new and used records at a show is one of the best ways to buy and save money. Shows in New England are happening almost every week or two, so look at for dates and cities.