Vinyl sales overtake CDs for the first time in 35 years – and the best sellers might surprise you | UK News


In an era of music streaming, you might have thought vinyl was destined to become a thing of the past, or the preserve of older collectors who remember when LPs first hit the shelves.

Well you’d be wrong.

Records are outselling CDs for the first time in 35 years.

Record store Rough Trade, in West London, has been struggling to keep up with the demand for vinyl.

Manager, Chris Summers, puts LPs appeal down to “affordable luxury”.

“People will come in here and go ‘oh I’ll treat myself.'”

UK record sales have been rising for the last 15 years, reaching £116.8m this year. In comparison, CD sales stood at £98.3 million.

Vinyl‘s renaissance is good news for artists facing lower revenues from streaming. And it seems, at least for the moment, vinyl’s popularity is defying the cost of living‘s impact on people’s spending habits.

In fact, records are attracting a whole new, younger generation of listeners who want to listen to popular, new music on a record player.

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Most of the best-selling vinyl albums in 2022 were released this year. The most popular LPs were Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, selling for around £33.

17-year-old Ava Fahey spends most of her money on records, and she’s a big Swift fan.

“I think she [Taylor Swift] has identified for the younger people buying vinyl is about the experience and the aesthetic and the collectible variation of it. She’s really gone for the experience of owning Taylor Swift vinyl, not just streaming it on our phones,” says Ms Fahey.

Drew Hill is the managing director of Proper Distribution, the UK’s biggest distributor of vinyl. He says the sound quality of LPs creates a different, more special, kind of listening experience.

“I think we’ve got to stop thinking about music consumers being either digital or physical. I think a lot of music fans do both. I think that they probably listened to a lot of music, via streaming platforms when they’re on the go and maybe when they’re at home or with their friends, then they want to play a record,” says Mr Hill.


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