Vinyl and Blu-ray sales dominated by "superfans"

Much has been written about exactly who has driven the vinyl revival in recent years. Is it young, new fans buying vinyl to spin on affordable all-in-one turntable systems? Or is it older enthusiasts who have dusted off their existing collections? And are the people who buy records even playing them?

A new report has shed some more light on the who exactly is buying vinyl, and indeed CDs, Blu-rays and DVDs. The answer? "Superfans". The data, released by the Entertainment Retailers Association, shows the UK vinyl and Blu-ray markets in particular are buoyed by a hardcore of fans spending a healthy amount of cash on discs on a regular basis.

Superfans who spend more than £400 per year are said to account for 72% of the sales value of the vinyl LP market. The £87.7m spent on vinyl in 2017 was comprised of £62.9 million from people who spent more than £400 across the year, or around 157,000 vinyl superfans.

61% of the Blu-ray market meanwhile was attributed to some 247,000 superfans, who delivered £98.8m of the £161.6m sales. For console games, CDs and DVDs, the share of the market attributed to superfans was smaller, at 34%, 32% and 11%, respectively.

Based on average selling prices, a superfan spending £400 could have bought more than 48 CDs, 32 Blu-rays or nearly 20 vinyl LPs in 12 months. Sound like anyone you know?

2017 was the biggest year for vinyl sales since the early '90s, with albums from Ed Sheeran, David Bowie, Noel Gallagher and Rag'n'Bone Man helping to boost sales. And with high-definition vinyl around the corner, who's to say 2018 won't be another record-breaker...


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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).