In 2014 you’d be forgiven for thinking the music industry is all about online charts and digital downloads, but the latest figures released by the Official Charts Company reveal a corresponding boom in vinyl record sales which have reached an 18-year high.
More than one million records have been sold in the UK so far this year – a number which is expected to rise even further by the end of Christmas. We haven’t bought that many since 1996, back when cassette tapes were still considered technologically advanced…
Sales have been driven primarily by the Arctic Monkeys (whose LP AM is the biggest selling vinyl of 2014), Jack White and Pink Floyd, with Oasis, Status Quo and David Bowie also contributing to the impressive figures.
“In an era when we’re all talking about digital music, the fact that these beautiful physical artefacts are still as popular as they are is fantastic,” Martin Talbot, the managing director of the Official Charts Company, said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It’s really remarkable. We’re seeing it come back as a significant earner for the music industry as well. Only five years ago this business was worth around £3m a year. This year it’s going to be worth £20m.”
Whether because of an older demographic continuing to top-up their collections, or the younger generation’s obsession with nostalgia and retro goods, there’s no denying a resurgence of the record – although it’s still a niche and relatively small part of the industry, with vinyl accounting for only 2% of the UK music market.