Perhaps you’ve heard tale of a vinyl resurgence occurring over the last decade and some change—fans love the warm sound of the old musical format! What young people once watched collect dust in their parents’ garages is back in vogue. And in many ways, vinyl is bigger than it has been in decades, capping off another year of record sales (pun unintended.)
According to Nielsen Music, vinyl sales represented 6.5% of all album sales in 2016, hitting 8.5% in 2017, which means vinyl made up 14% of all physical album sales, up from 2016's 11%. This isn’t a particularly new trend in the industry: Vinyl sales have been on the rise for 12 straight years, Billboard reports, each new year bringing new milestones.
It’s certainly something to get excited about, but it’s not all...great news? The top album sold in 2017, with 72,000 copies, was the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. People apparently still love ‘60s nostalgia and the landmark album did celebrate its 50th anniversary, so, I guess that makes sense.
But what about albums actually released in 2017, the year of our lord? The highest ranking vinyl LP was Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide), which ranked in 62,000 copies.
But Ed’s a major label boy...what does it mean for the indie industry? Though the overall numbers of vinyl sales continue to rise, independent labels like Tiny Engines, that focus on smaller artists, tweeted they’ve seen sales decrease over the last few years.
Even if vinyl sales are increasing and growing in popularity, instead of picking up another Rolling Stones album, check out what new records are out at your local record store or Urban Outfitters or whatever. Music can only get better with your support!