Vinyl just keeps spinning a sweet tune.
New U.S. data published for the first months of 2017 indicates vinyl albums grew to 9.35 million units, up 3.1 percent year on year, led by a recording which recently chalked up the half-century: The Beatles’ legendary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which shifted 40,000 units.
Vinyl is an unlikely but cheery story for musicians and the industry. A high-margin format which has been around since the dawn of the recording industry, vinyl just won’t go away. Indeed, 2016 marked the eleventh consecutive year that vinyl LP sales have grown, according to Nielsen Music and, predictably, retailers and manufacturers across the market are reporting surges in sales of turntables. What the numbers don’t tell us is just how many vinyls actual end up plastered on bedroom walls.
Vinyl isn’t the only bright note. Streaming contributes to gather steam, as total on-demand streams for audio and video in the United States hit 442.44 billion during the period, up 40.5 percent from the corresponding result in 206, according to data collated by Nielsen Music and published by Billboard.
Meanwhile, the top album on a consumption unit basis is Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN,’ with 2.35 million consumption units, followed by Ed Sheeran’s ‘Divide,’ with 2.13 million consumption units; and Drake’s ‘More Life,’ at No. 3, with slightly more than 2 million consumption units.
It’s a familiar grim story for that other physical format, the CD. Sales of CDs plummeted by nearly 20% to 57.76 million units. When combined, physical and digital albums tanked to 117.5 million copies, down by 18.3 percent from the previous-year period.