US sales of vinyl singles grew 99% in value in 2011

28 Mar 2012

Vinyl sales rocketed in 2011 according to figures released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The US numbers showed a 99.6% growth year-on-year in vinyl singles according to dollar value, as a result of a 19.7% growth in the number of units sold.

LPs/EPs on vinyl, as opposed to singles, grew 34.2% in dollar value and 31.5% in terms of the number of units shipped.

Despite the growth in sales, vinyl still makes up a small percentage of the overall market.

While vinyl sales clocked-up just under six million units, this was dwarfed by CD sales at around 242m units and digital music at 1,411m units.

Vinyl sales in the UK last year were up 40% as of October 2011, helped by a strong first six months of sales, reported by The Official Charts Company.

CD single sales grew in number and value but overall CD shipments, including albums, which make up the vast majority of the CD market, fell by 4.8% in number and 8.5% in value.

The downloads market in the US showed solid growth, with the singles market growing 10.9% in units and 13.3% in value, while album sales were up 22% in terms of units shipped and 25% in terms of value.

Revenuse from subscription music sales grew to a new high of $241m in 2011, an increase in 13% from the prior year, with the number of users recorded as growing from 1.5m to 1.8m, though it's not clear which services are included.

The overall percentage split in sales in the US was divided 50/50 between digital and physical in 2011, compared to a 54/46 percentage split in favour of physical in 2010.

The RIAA also notes that the music sales industry is worth less than half the total value of its peak in 1999, though total shipments were up last year for the first time since 2004.

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I'm not usually driven to post on these blogs but "shaddap you bunch of cycnics!"

The point of the article is to point out that vinyl, a classic format that was 'dead' in the 90s, is making a steady increase in sales among enthusiasts!

Otherwise the article is very informative as to the current physical/digital/subscription debate that's going on in music at the moment and what's selling in the US. But it does seem that US record shops are increasing prices as sales increase. Stop ripping off your customers, US record shops!!

99.6% growth of a very tiny number is neither here or there

The 99% increase is perhaps because more people are buying a bit more vinyl, but the cost is so much more expensive than CDs and downloads.

ie. vinyl-lovers are being ripped off by excessive prices, and quite a few of the vinyl releases are not very good quality (sound or total album "listenability"). Example, the new Lana del Rey vinyl costs £27, whilst a vinyl record only costs a couple of quid more to produce than a CD.

Not everything is, but I'm constantly surprised by what new releases do come out on vinyl.

I went to my local shop which mostly carries indie stuff. There were Adele's two studio albums. That was a genuine surprise.

I've reached the point that I no longer buy CDs unless I absolutely have to. I have plenty of ways of playing music digitally in my house and life. But when I want to buy physical media, and devote exclusive time to listening to music, more and more often I will seek out the vinyl and go play it on my nice record player. Appears I'm not the only one!

is it less impressive?

consider the amount of upto date single dowloads that make up the 1.411m units to vinyl which consits of more than 1 unit on each ep & lp and not to mention no vinyl being up to date with the times.

the figures are pretty impessive, its just a shame you cannot by new release on vinyl as the numbers would be even more impressive.

Which is why we also say: "Despite the growth in sales, vinyl still makes up a small percentage of the overall market."

Wow! 99% Vinyl ............

From the headline its like we are all turning our back on downloads and CDs and going back  to good olde vinyl.

A case of lets cherry pick statistics because we love vinyl ?

Actually the truth is less impressive:-

"While vinyl sales clocked-up just under 6m units, this was dwarfed by CD sales at around 242m units and digital music at 1,411m units"