First published on www.forbes.com
White sold 40,000 copies of Lazaretto on vinyl, which marks the largest sales week for any single record on vinyl since 1991, when SoundScan began tracking music sales. That number beats a record previous held by Pearl Jam’sVitalogy, which sold 34,000 copies in one week back in 1994.
Vinyl accounted for almost one third of total first week sales, and sold only about 1,000 fewer copies than CDs. Digital downloads made up the remainder of sales, with 41% of the total. The sales count for vinyl was so high, if it were released as it’s own album, it would have charted at number four on the tally, so says Keith Caulfield at Billboard.
This is good news for the industry, which is collectively having a hard time selling music at all—especially in physical form. While the sale of CDs has been droppingfor some time now, last year marked the first time that digital sales have also dipped. According to Nielsen SoundScan, sales of digital individual tracks fell 5.7% (from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion), and digital album sales fell a less worry-inducing 0.1% (from 117.7 million to 117.6 million).
This means that vinyl is now the only sector of the pay-to-own market that is on the rise. Between 2012 and 2013, vinyl sales rose a whopping 32%, with another rise expected for 2014. While the number of records sold per year is going up, one wonders how long the industry can expect that trend to continue.