Vinyl is the UK’s second most popular physical media format by year-to-date sales figures.
According to an analysis by the Digital Entertainment & Retail Association (ERA), the format is only second in sales to the Nintendo Switch. UK consumers have spent more on vinyl than on PlayStation 4 & 5 games combined – and other formats like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs. Another interesting bit from the report is that the £80.9 million ($93.3M) spent on vinyl LPs so far in 2022 is up 12.2% on the same period in 2021. That number is nearly 20% ahead of the next music-based format, the CD.
“Vinyl’s rise and rise seems to be unstoppable,” says ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “For a 74 year-old analogue format to eclipse the digital-age technology of games platforms is quite extraordinary. Ten years into its long climb back to favor, the vinyl revival is most definitely here to stay.”
UK’s Best-Selling Physical Entertainment Formats – 2022
- Nintendo Switch | £88,650,439
- Vinyl Albums | £80,934,220
- PlayStation (4/5) | £79,582,333
- CD Albums | £68,851,246
- DVD | £66,823,596
- Blu-ray | £52,148,024
- Xbox (Series/One) | £17,784,159
- PC | £579,986
Sony is experiencing supply chain shortages that make it impossible to find PlayStation consoles right now. That has likely helped contribute to vinyl surpassing the gaming format. Nintendo recently debuted the OLED Switch as a mid-cycle refresh that features an improved screen, kickstand, and other improvements.
The data does show that vinyl is back in a big way, which makes the bottleneck at production so damaging for indie labels. “There are only a handful of plants,” Todd Hedrick, owner of Nashville-based record shop Vinyl Tap, says. “And only one of them is pretty big – the one that’s here in Nashville, United Record Pressing. In a good sense, the demand is super high. But they don’t have the capacity. Even running basically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they can’t keep up.”
A fire at the Apollo Masters Corp. in California in February 2020 also impacted the supply of lacquer discs that are required for traditional vinyl pressing. The full impact of that fire is still unknown.