Are digital downloads so yesterday?

According to Nielsen’s U.S. Music Mid-Year Report 2018, vinyl LP sales have increased 19.2 percent this year over last year’s sales (7.6 million vs. 6.4 million, respectively).

And leading the pack in vinyl album sales for the first half of the year Detroit darling Jack White, with 37,000 sales of his latest record, “Boarding House Reach.”

Here at FanLabel, we love to kick back to the warm, cozy acoustics of our favorite rock ‘n’ roll band on vinyl (vs. tinny MP3s). By the sounds (and stats) of it, it seems that many music-loving Americans do, too.

Record Store Day success

While overall sales are soaring, Record Store Day in particular brought independent music fans out by the masses this spring and boosted vinyl sales tremendously.

This year marked the 11th annual celebration of Record Store Day, and on Saturday, April 21, the event dedicated to celebrating the music and culture of record stores was a raging success.

This year’s event set an all-time high, with a whopping 733,000 LPs sold through independent music retailers during Record Store Day week (April 20 through April 26). Throughout the week, vinyl LP sales grew 427 percent at independent record stores over the prior week, according to the Nielsen report.

This year’s top three best-selling vinyl LPs on Record Store Day were Bruce Springsteen’s “Greatest Hits,” David Bowie’s “Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78)” and Neil Young’s “Roxy: Tonight’s the Night Live.”

The state of U.S. vinyl sales

We all consume music differently: through streams, digital downloads, CDs, vinyl, even cassette tapes if you truly enjoy nostalgia. As with most fads and trends, what’s old is new again.

Currently, vinyl LPs comprise over 18 percent of all physical album sales, up from 13 percent last year.

Below are 2018’s mid-year top 10 best-selling LP vinyl albums:

  1.     Jack White, “Boarding House Reach” 37K sales
  2.     Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN.” 30K sales
  3.     Guardians of the Galaxy, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix” 28K
  4.     Michael Jackson, “Thriller” 28K
  5.     Fleetwood Mac, “Rumours” 28K
  6.     Panic! At The Disco, “Pray For The Wicked” 26K
  7.     Justin Timberlake, “Man of the Woods” 26K
  8.     Prince, “Purple Rain” 25K
  9.     Amy Winehouse, “Back to Black” 25K
  10.  Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts” 23K

How do you think these rank in terms of your favorite albums of the year so far? Do you prefer streams, digital downloads, or the sweet sounds of vinyl? Comments?

**Source: Nielsen U.S. Music Mid-Year Report 2018, December 29, 2017 through June 28, 2018**

Leave a Reply