UK Vinyl LP Sales Increase for a 16th Consecutive Year

UK vinyl LP
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UK vinyl LP
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Photo Credit: Sander Crombach

Vinyl LP sales in the UK increase for a 16th consecutive year as the physical music market enjoys a robust 12 months, according to analysis from the BPI.

Vinyl album purchases in the UK have risen for the 16th consecutive year in 2023, growing at their fastest rate this decade, according to analysis of Official Charts data by the BPI. With just a few more days left in the year, the vinyl market in 2023 has increased over four times as fast as the year previous — with an 11.7% rise to 5.9 million units, up from a 2.9% improvement in 2022.

New releases from artists including Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Lewis Capaldi, Taylor Swift, and The Rolling Stones have led the increase, with the ever-rising demand for vinyl albums and other physical format releases reflecting a thriving market. In the UK, this is further exemplified through the popularity of independent record stores, paired with the success of specialist music and entertainment chain HMV, which re-opened its original flagship store on London’s Oxford Street this November after a four-year absence.

More than four-fifths of recorded music consumption in the UK is now made up of streaming, but demand for vinyl LPs continues to surge; the market is at its highest annual level since 1990. Over a quarter of a million vinyl albums have sold in the UK just last week alone — the highest sales week for the format this century.

Meanwhile, the CD market has sustained its smallest annual decline in nearly a decade this year, as it moves closer to a plateau. Nearly 11 million CDs were sold across 2023, while sales of cassettes topped 100,000 units in a calendar year for the fourth consecutive year.

“Led by vinyl, the resurgence of physical product underlines the resilience of the UK music market at a time when streaming consumption continues to hit record levels,” says Dr. Jo Twist, OBE, BPI Chief Executive. “Whilst LP sales have now been on an upward path for the past 16 years, it is encouraging to see a stabilization in demand for CD, as well as new generations of music fans falling in love with the cassette. It is giving people more choice than ever in how they enjoy their favorite music.”

Seven of the 10 biggest vinyl LP sellers this year are 2023 new releases, led by Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” Lana Del Rey’s “Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” Lewis Capaldi’s “Broken By Desire to Be Heavenly Sent,” Kylie Minogue’s “Tension,” Blur’s “The Ballad of Darren,” and The Rolling Stones’ “Hackney Diamonds.”

Over 40% of the 100 most-purchased vinyl LPs of 2023 were released in the past two years, including releases by UK artists such as The 1975, Depeche Mode, Ed Sheeran, Gorillaz, Liam Gallagher, and Noel Gallagher. This is alongside big-selling vinyl releases from international artists including Blink-182, boygenius, Olivia Rodrigo, Paramore, Queens of the Stone Age, and the soundtracks to the films “Barbie” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”