Vinyl sales top digital for the first time ever
The music industry has always been in a state of perpetual change, though once the internet took ahold of it, that evolution was sped up exponentially. As such, predicting the trends before they happen tends to be difficult, though not impossible if one knows where to look and how to analyze the data.
One recent trend that seems to have taken the majority of the industry by complete surprise was the resurgence of analog gear and, more specifically, vinyl. While digital music has served as one of the most omniscient changes in the industry through the advent of the MP3 and the internet, it hasn’t been enough to completely eclipse the analog world. One recent study by the Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) irrefutably proves this point yet again. According to the ERA, last week saw sales of vinyl records surpass that of digital in the United Kingdom: £2.4 ($3.03) million and £2.1 ($2.64) million, respectively.
This is the first time in music history that this has happened (since the advent of digital music, of course), and was driven by a combination of digital sales falling drastically while the supply and accessibility of vinyl records increased to match the demand. The signs leading to this disparity first came to light with a finding in 2015 that showed vinyl sales already beating out the combined ad-supported streaming revenue from YouTube, VEVO, SoundCloud, and Spotify.