U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Grew 15% in 2018, Led by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie & Panic! on the Disco


Vinyl album gross sales within the U.S. hit their 13th consecutive yr of progress, with 'Guardians' being the top-selling LP and "Yellow Submarine” the largest vinyl single.

Vinyl album gross sales proceed to be a vivid spot amongst an in any other case bleak album gross sales image. 16.eight million vinyl albums have been offered in 2018, in line with Nielsen Music (up 14.6 p.c) — marking the 13th consecutive yr of progress for the format. 16.eight million can be a brand new yearly excessive for vinyl album gross sales since Nielsen Music started monitoring gross sales in 1991.

Comparatively, general album gross sales (vinyl LP, CD, digital, cassette, and many others.) in 2018 fell 17.7 p.c to 141 million.

Vinyl LP gross sales accounted for 11.9 p.c of all album gross sales in 2018 (16.eight million of 141 million). In 2017, the format comprised 6.5 p.c of album gross sales.

Nielsen Music’s 2018 monitoring yr ran from Dec. 29, 2017 by Jan. three, 2019. Due to a quirk within the calendar, there have been 53 weeks in 2018, as an alternative of the same old 52. So, for 2018 quantity comparisons to 2017, a corresponding 53-week interval is utilized by Nielsen Music for 2017: Dec. 30, 2016 by Jan. four, 2018. Numbers on this story are rounded.

Perhaps not surprisingly, vinyl LPs have been 19.1 p.c of all bodily album gross sales (CDs, LPs, cassettes, and many others.) in 2018. That’s a brand new Nielsen-era report share for the once-dormant format, up from 14 p.c in 2017.

Vinyl’s rising share of the bodily album market isn’t stunning, contemplating CD album gross sales proceed to falter.

In complete, bodily album gross sales equaled 88 million in 2018, down 15.eight p.c. And of that sum, CD album gross sales have been 70.7 million — down 20.9 p.c.

The CD format continues to be the chief for all album purchases, whereas the digital format is the runner-up with 53.four million digital albums offered in 2018 (down 20.7 p.c).

TOP-SELLING VINYL ARTISTS: The top-selling vinyl albums artist in 2018 was the Beatles, with 321,000 copies offered of their catalog on vinyl. Their greatest vendor was Abbey Road, which finishes the yr because the No. four largest-seller, with 76,000 copies. The Fab Four even have two extra titles among the many yr’s high 15-sellers: their self-titled (White Album) is No. 11 (56,000) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is No. 13 (50,000).

The high 10-biggest promoting vinyl acts of the yr are rounded out principally by basic and veteran rock acts: Pink Floyd (177,000), David Bowie (150,000), Panic! on the Disco (148,000), Fleetwood Mac (139,000), Led Zeppelin (138,000), Michael Jackson (131,000), Jimi Hendrix (119,000), Metallica (116,000) and Queen (113,000).

‘GUARDIANS’ LEAD THE PACK, AGAIN: The top-selling vinyl album of 2018 is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack, with 84,000 copies offered. (See high 10 sellers record, under.) The high 5 sellers of the yr are rounded out by 4 basic Billboard 200 chart-topping albums: Michael Jackson’s Thriller (almost 84,000), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (77,000), the Beatles’ Abbey Road (76,000) and Prince and the Revolution’s soundtrack to Purple Rain (71,000).

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 has been a constant vendor on vinyl, as 11 p.c of the set’s complete gross sales (244,000 of two.29 million) have come vinyl LP. The album was launched in July of 2014, and its vinyl version was issued in September of that yr.

Other hot-selling vinyl albums in 2018 included newer releases, like Khalid’s American Teen (55,000), the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman (50,000), Jack White’s Boarding House Reach (42,000) and Twenty One Pilots’ Trench (40,000).

Overall in 2018, 14 albums offered greater than 50,000 copies on vinyl — up from simply eight titles in 2017. Further, 79 titles exceeded 20,000 in LP gross sales in 2018, as in comparison with 77 in 2017 and 58 in 2016.

RankArtist, TitleSales
1Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 184,000
2Michael Jackson, Thriller84,000
threeFleetwood Mac, Rumours77,000
fourThe Beatles, Abbey Road76,000
5Prince and The Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)71,000
6Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon67,000
7Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…61,000
eightQueen, Greatest Hits60,000
9Amy Winehouse, Back to Black59,000
10Panic! on the Disco, Pray for the Wicked59,000
Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by Jan. three, 2019. (Titles listed with the identical gross sales complete will not be tied, as their precise gross sales are rounded to the closest thousand.)

RECORD WEEK FOR VINYL ALBUM SALES: 905,000 vinyl albums have been offered within the week ending Dec. 27, 2018, the biggest week for the format since Nielsen Music started monitoring gross sales in 1991. That sum really beats out a report that was solely set every week earlier, when 880,000 vinyl LPs have been offered within the body ending Dec. 20. (Before 2018, the biggest week was registered within the week ending Dec. 21, 2017, with 811,000 vinyl albums offered.)

ROCK AROUND THE VINYL CLOCK: Rock music is tops amongst vinyl album patrons, because the style contains the biggest share of vinyl LP gross sales: 63 p.c. In 2017, the style amounted to 67 p.c of LP gross sales, whereas in 2016 rock yielded 69 p.c of LP gross sales.

Sales of older albums proceed to drive the majority of all vinyl LP gross sales, as deep catalog titles held a 65 p.c share of vinyl album gross sales in 2018. (Deep catalog albums are outlined as these which are not less than 36 months outdated.) The solely title amongst 2018’s high 10-selling vinyl albums that's not a deep catalog title is Panic! on the Disco’s Pray for the Wicked (No. 10 with 59,000), which was launched in June of 2018.

INDIE STORES LOVE VINYL, TARGET GETS INTO THE GROOVE: In complete, of the 16.eight million vinyl albums offered in 2018, 41.1 p.c of them — the biggest share of the market — have been offered unbiased music shops (6.9 million).

That’s not shocking, contemplating so many distinctive vinyl merchandise are created for Record Store Day and Record Store Day Black Friday every year. Those annual indie music retailer celebrations supply a slate of unique and limited-edition vinyl albums and singles, usually solely present in indie shops.

Indie shops’ 6.9 million vinyl album gross sales have been up 15 p.c as in comparison with their gross sales in 2017 (6 million).

Coming in an in depth second for market share was Nielsen Music’s grouping of Internet/Mail Order/Venue sellers, which collectively tallied 40.9 p.c of vinyl album gross sales (6.89 million). Internet sellers embrace Amazon.com.

In a distant third have been chain shops (1.76 million; 10.5 p.c), adopted by mass retailers (661,000; three.9 p.c) and lastly non-traditional stores (608,000; three.6 p.c).

Mass retailers had a giant spike in vinyl LP gross sales in 2018 — rising 611 p.c over 2017 (93,000). The progress is probably going owed to mass retailers like Target devoting extra space of their shops to vinyl albums, and procuring unique variants of releases. Among the distinctive titles solely accessible at Target: a translucent blue vinyl model of Khalid’s American Teen, a translucent orange version of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods and a gold model of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend.

SINGLES ACTION: In phrases of vinyl singles, whereas it’s a smaller market as in comparison with that of full-length vinyl albums, there have been nonetheless some fairly notable vinyl singles with important gross sales in 2018.

The top-selling vinyl single of 2018 is the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” 7-inch image disc, with 10,000 copies offered. (See high 10 record, under.) The title was launched on July 6, 2018, to have a good time the 50th anniversary of the only and its mum or dad movie of the identical identify. The new image disc’s B-side is “Eleanor Rigby,” simply because it was for the unique 7-inch plain black vinyl single launch in 1968.

The No. 2-biggest-selling vinyl single of 2018 was Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” on 7-inch vinyl (9,000). The single, containing Prince’s unique studio model of the monitor, together with an edited model of the tune, was launched broadly on May 25, 2018.

Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” 7-inch yellow vinyl single, with “Friends” as its B-side, is available in at No. three on the highest sellers record. The product, with beforehand unheard mixes of the tracks, was launched for Record Store Day on April 21. (Many of the yr’s high sellers have been related to Record Store Day, or Record Store Day Black Friday initiatives.)

Rounding out the highest 10 promoting vinyl singles: John Williams’ “The Rebellion Is Reborn,” backed with “Canto Bight,” from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The 10-inch single was pressed on a Porg-shaped picture disc. It was the 10th-largest vendor of the yr.

Outside of the highest 10, there have been a variety of notable titles that carried out properly. Among them: Weezer’s “Africa” pressed on a 10-inch picture disc within the form of Africa (three,000 offered), Sufjan Stevens’ three-song 10-inch clear clear launch containing his contributions to the Call Me by Your Name soundtrack (2,000) and Cheech & Chong’s 40th anniversary launch of “Up in Smoke” on a 7-inch image disc within the form of a marijuana leaf, and packaged with a scratch-and-sniff sticker (2,000).

RankArtist, TitleSales
1The Beatles, "Yellow Submarine"10,000
2Prince, "Nothing Compares 2 U"9,000
threeLed Zeppelin, "Rock and Roll"/"Friends"eight,000
fourSleep, "Leagues Beneath"5,000
5Chris Cornell, "When Bad Does Good"four,000
6David Bowie, "Let's Dance" (Full Length Demo)four,000
7Paul McCartney, "I Don't Know"/"Come On To Me"four,000
eightU2, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"three,000
9The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"three,000
10John Williams, "The Rebellion Is Reborn"three,000
Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by Jan. three, 2019. (Titles listed with the identical gross sales complete are not tied, as their precise gross sales are rounded to the closest thousand.)