There is no denying that the most popular physical album around the world for this year and the past two years have been vinyl records.
Vinyl sales in the US, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) 2022 mid-year music revenue report, have risen by 22% in the first half of 2022.
The overall music revenue in the US has seen a 9% increase from its 2021 counterpart of the same period.
From $6.5 billion in 2021 to $7.7 billion in 2022 and this has something to do with the additional 8 million people, more or less, paying for subscription to streaming services this year.
Though streaming accounts for 84% of the total music revenue and physical albums accounts for only 10%, the increase in vinyl sales cannot be outdone by any other formats’.
As seen in the figure above, vinyl record sales have increased the most from last year’s sales. There has also been a 15.7% increase in the shipment of vinyl records from 18.8 million units shipped in 2021 to 21.8 million copies this 2022.
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RIAA Chairman and CEO, Mitch Glazier commented on how music lovers can’t seem to get enough of the “high-quality sound and tangible connection to artists” that vinyl delivers. He also pointed out how labels have met these demands by continuously releasing “exclusives, special reissues and beautifully crafted packages and discs.”
In the UK, the vinyl format has become the second-best selling physical entertainment format, surpassing PlayStation games, according to UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association’s (ERA).
Though the Nintendo Switch games snatched the title of the best selling physical entertainment format this year, its sales have been declining year-on-year by 12.5%. Vinyl sales on the other hand have been steadily increasing by 12.2%.
However, if you group together the console games (Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 and 5), there is not much of an exciting game there. Still the growth of vinyl sales has been a fascinating phenomenon.
“Vinyl’s rise and rise seems unstoppable. For a 74 year old analogue format to eclipse the digital-age technology of games platforms is quite extraordinary.
Ten years into its long climb back to favor, the vinyl revival is most definitely here to stay,” says Kim Bayley, CEO of ERA.
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James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.