First published on http://wallstcheatsheet.com/
Much of the talk about the music industry last year revolved around the fact that digital music downloads dropped for the first time in the ten years since Apple first opened its iTunes Store, and that downloading music to own is being replaced by paying for music streaming services. But there was another area of the music industry that showed growth aside from streaming — vinyl record sales were up 32 percent versus 2012 while CDs, digital music sales, and album sales as a whole were all down for the year, according to data from Statista.
The firm also pointed out that between 2002 and 2012, vinyl sales skyrocketed 250 percent in the U.S. while total recorded music shipments were cut in half. A similar phenomenon of the resurgence of vinyl has been seen in the U.K. as well, with Telegraph reporting that LP sales for 2013 were at a fifteen-year high in the country.
There are lots of different theories about what could be causing the phenomenon — a hipster fad, a backlash against all things digital, the higher quality of sound offered by vinyl versus MP3s, the artwork on album sleeves and general desire for tangibility. In reality it’s probably some combination of all of the above, along with the fact that LPs are increasingly becoming the only option for getting a physical copy of a record. What’s clear is that vinyl sales have been steadily growing over the past decade, and a look at the best-selling records shows it’s not all about nostalgia.
In honor of Record Store Day, the holiday those of us who call rock ‘n’ roll our religion are looking forward to this weekend, here’s a list of the best-selling vinyl albums in the U.S. last year, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan seen by Digital Music News.