UK vinyl sales are at their highest point in over three decades





Vinyl is forever…

UK vinyl sales reached record highs in 2021, according to new data from the British Phonographic Industry.

Read more: UK vinyl sales surpassed 1 million units in early 2021

More than 5 million (5.3m) records were sold in 2021, the highest total since 1990.

This marks an increase of 11% on 2020 – making it the 14th consecutive year of growth for the format. Vinyl LPs now represent more than a quarter of physical format purchases.

Much of this boost has come from mainstream pop artists and heritage acts. ABBA’s new album, Voyage, was a vinyl sensation. It shifted 29,891 records in its first week, becoming the fastest selling LP of the century.

The report describes physical releases as a “kingmaker” for chart-topping albums, with records by Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Dave all benefitted from a vinyl-based boost up the tallies. Physical copies accounted for more than half of chart-eligible sales for No. 1 albums on 40 of the year’s 52 weeks.

The increase in vinyl sales is also higher than that of streaming uptake: while vinyl sales rose 11% in 2021 compared with the previous year, streaming’s increase measured just 5.7% — a dip compared with last year’s 22% growth, suggesting a saturation point may be near. Streaming now accounts for 83% of all music consumption.

Notably, 2.11 million records were sold on the week commencing the 19th December, the biggest week for vinyl sales since 1991, as Billboard reports.