For the first time since the 1980s, when Rick Astley, T’Pau, and Pet Shop Boys ruled the charts, vinyl albums have sold more than CDs thanks to Taylor Swift fans.
The 33-year-old “Swifties” singer has made her latest album, Midnights, the best-selling vinyl record of the last 100 years in the UK. This has helped vinyl album sales pass CD sales for the first time since 1987.
Since their peak in 2000, when 2.45 billion CDs were sold around the world, sales of the old-fashioned LP have risen in a surprising way. Vinyl record sales are expected to go up for the 15th year in a row, to 5.5 million, which is the most since 1990.
Taylor Swift’s Midnights album sold 80,000 copies, which was the most of any album this century. The vinyl resurgence started with older music fans who wanted valuable copies of classic albums by bands like The Beatles, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd.
Now, younger fans of old audio formats like cassettes have joined the vinyl resurgence. Eight of the best-selling albums of this year, which will be revealed in the new year, are by 2022. CEO of the Entertainment Retailers Association Kim Bayley calls it a turning point in the music industry (ERA).
“After CDs almost killed the vinyl market, few of us would have thought a comeback like this was possible.” During the epidemic, fans who couldn’t go to concerts spent their money on records at home.
The Entertainment Retailers Association says that sales of vinyl records will rise 23% to £135.6 million in 2021, while sales of CDs will drop 3.9% to £150 million (ERA).
Recent sales estimates say that CD sales, which passed vinyl in 1988 and cassettes in 1991, will be £20 million less than vinyl LP sales this year.
Last year, almost 14 million CDs were sold, and the official numbers for 2022, which will be released next week, are likely to show a double-digit drop each year.
Does the CD go away? “Of course, its chances aren’t good right now, but it has a unique stability, strength, and quality,” says Bayley. “We were wrong about vinyl, so it would be stupid to give up on CDs for good.”
In 2022, the number of LPs sold will be at its highest level in four decades. When unit sales growth slows to a few percentage points, music fans may have reached “peak vinyl.”
“When the LP turns 75 in 2023, it will still be as important as ever,” says BPI CEO Geoff Taylor. “In an age of streaming, buying music on CD or vinyl is still important and healthy.”
Cassette sales, which reached 185,000 last year, are expected to go up as the medium continues its mini-revival.
Top Ten Selling Vinyl Records in 2022
1. Midnights – Taylor Swift
2. Harry’s House – Harry Styles
3. The Car – Arctic Monkeys
4. C’mon You Know – Liam Gallagher
5. Wet Leg – Wet Leg
6. Will of the People – Muse
7. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
8. Skinny Fia – Fontaines DC
9. Being Funny in A Foreign Language – 1975
10. AM – Arctic Monkeys
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