The fairy tale revival in demand for vinyl continued apace in 2015, with interest encouraged by such events as Record Store Day and a new generation of rock bands and fans who regard vinyl as collectable art that is a ‘badge of honour’.
Reports by the BPI and Nielsen Soundscan point to a strong international market, with vinyl growth up to 64% in the UK and 15.2% across the world. Though still accounting for just under 2 per cent of music consumption in the UK, the format has now shown eight consecutive years of growth since facing near extinction in 2007, when only 205,000 LPs were bought.
Demand for vinyl comes from the baby boomers who grew up with the format but also from a new generation of engaged younger fans drawn to its emotional appeal at the heart of Rock music’s heritage. The most popular releases are typically from iconic acts such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Oasis, and more recent groups including Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood. In 2015, however, the best-selling vinyl title was Adele’s 25, while interest in the Amy Winehouse Amy documentary helped Back to Black into the top 3, just ahead of the Stone Roses’ self-titled album from 1989. The success of Adele and Amy on vinyl suggests that the format, which is often presented in premium quality packaging featuring added-value content, is increasingly lending itself to the gifting market – especially in the run up to Christmas.
CD album sales in 2015 stood at 53.6 million units, down 3.9 per cent on the year and still accounting for 66 per cent of all albums purchased in the UK. This softening in its rate of decline, compared to a 20 per cent drop in 2012 (and a 7.9 per cent decrease in 2014), underlines the format’s resilience and suggests that it may yet have a viable future for some years to come as part of a multi-channel consumer landscape alongside vinyl, streaming and downloads.
[News Source: BPI]