U.K. vinyl sales pass 1 million mark for first time since 1996
According to Official Charts company data, vinyl sales in the U.K. for 2014 have surpassed the 1 million milestone for the first time since 1996, when 1.1 million vinyl records were sold. The year-end figure is expected to increase to approximately 1.2 million unit sales, while last year, just 780,674 vinyl records were sold in the U.K.
Official Charts chief executive, Martin Talbot, projects that vinyl sales are estimated to become a £20 million ($31 million) business this year, in contrast to barely £3 million ($4.7 million) from just five years ago. Despite the favorable sales growth, vinyl is still considered a niche product that accounts for 2% of the U.K.’s recorded music market, while streaming holds a 10% market share. BPI spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo expressed his views on the re-emerging format:
“We have entered an exciting best-of-all-worlds era where there is space and scope for all kinds of music to be discovered and enjoyed in every type of way, including on vinyl once again… Many of us assumed it had become an obsolete format, but while the flame may have flickered, it never quite went out, and we are now seeing a burgeoning resurgence in demand.”
Releases that have heavily contributed to this phenomenon include David Bowie’s best-of collection, Nothing Has Changed, which currently ranks at No. 1 on the weekly Official Vinyl Chart, and Pink Floyd’s The Endless River, which sold higher than any LP within its first week of release since 1997, making it the fastest-selling vinyl album this century. Arctic Monkeys’ AM has also accomplished an impressive feat as the biggest-selling vinyl release for a second straight year, followed by Jack White’s Lazaretto in 2014.