The UK experienced an impressive 11.7% year-on-year surge in vinyl record sales in 2023, highlighting the enduring allure of analog sound and marking the 16th consecutive year of growth. This surge, the most rapid this decade, follows a 2.9% uptick in vinyl purchases recorded in 2022, solidifying vinyl’s status as a musical mainstay. Figures released by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reveal a staggering 5.9 million units finding new homes on turntables across the UK.
The driving force behind this resurgence includes iconic releases from musical titans like The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Ed Sheeran. Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ claims the crown as the top-selling vinyl album of the year, boasting an impressive 78,767 units sold by the 50th week of 2023. The Rolling Stones’ ‘Hackney Diamonds’ secures the second spot with 42,815 vinyl sales.
Notably, the festive season played a pivotal role in this vinyl resurgence, with over 250,000 records finding eager owners in the last week alone. This surge marks the highest week for vinyl sales in the UK since the dawn of the 21st century.
Dr. Jo Twist, OBE, Chief Executive of the BPI, shared insights into the robust vinyl market and the noteworthy stabilisation in CD sales: “Led by vinyl, the resurgence of physical products underscores the resilience of the UK music market, even as streaming consumption reaches unprecedented levels. The sustained growth of LP sales over the past 16 years reflects a deep appreciation for the tangible, immersive experience of vinyl. Simultaneously, the stabilisation in demand for CDs, along with a renewed interest in cassettes among new music enthusiasts, provides a diverse array of choices for how individuals savour their favourite tunes.”
As a historical note, the year 2022 marked a pivotal moment when vinyl outsold CDs in the UK for the first time in 35 years, solidifying the vinyl renaissance as a formidable force in the modern music landscape.
Written by: HMR