Vinyl records account for just over half of physical albums sold in the US in 2022

Vinyl records have seen a massive resurgence over the past decade and it’s dominance in the physical music space is continuing in 2022.  According to Luminate, a company dedicated to insights and data for the entertainment industry, over 19.4 million vinyl records have been sold thus far this year.

This figure, which accounts for just over half of the 36.5 million units of physical music sold, represents a slight uptick from the 2021 figures, which saw 19.2 million records sold through the first half of the year.  The 2021 numbers marked a 30 year high for the format, and making a strong return from the 2020 figures which were down with the ongoing concerns and instability globally due to Covid-19.  The report seems consistent with one published by MCR Data at the end of last year, signifying that vinyl sales were hitting sales massive figures to close out 2021.  On top of the high sales figures, the access to vinyl records is also steadily expanding as well.  Mass Merchant retailers have doubled their share of the vinyl space since 2019, jumping from 6% at the time to 12% now.  While this is still a ways away from the dominance of independent record stores and online sales, who hold a 52% and 31% market share, it certainly helps increase visibility and access to the medium for fans looking to start their own collection.

Diving deeper into the record sales, Luminate highlights the specific success of Harry Styles and Tyler, The Creator, who both had massive success upon releasing their albums.  In the case of Harry Styles, he set a modern record for vinyl sales in the first week, seeing 182,000 units sold upon the release of his third album, Harry’s House.  Tyler, The Creator had a slightly different experience when his album, Call Me If You Get Lost, was made available on vinyl nearly 10 months after it’s initial release in the world.  The record version moved 50,000 units and returned the album to the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

Image Credit: Eric Krull on Unsplash

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