It looks like the vinyl resurgence isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, for 2015, it may be getting stronger. Vinyl album sales between January and March of this year were 53 percent higher than the first three months of 2014, according to a recent Nielsen report.
Driving the uptick are catalog albums, defined as a record released at least 18 months prior. The report states that catalog vinyl album sales are up 66 percent. It also notes that current vinyl releases are up 37 percent in the first three months of 2015.
Alongside the news, Billboard broke out the top-selling vinyl records since 2010 which includes both recent and historic blockbuster LPs. The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” tops the list, which features other classics from the likes of Pink Floyd and Bob Marley, but also includes current bands like Mumford & Sons, Jack White, and the Arctic Monkeys.
This is just the latest news solidifying the current love affair with the audiophile-favorite analog format, which hit 9.2 million units in sales last year (up from 6.1 million in 2013). And the trend has been building for some time now: Vinyl album sales in the U.S. have grown 260 percent since 2009, according to Nielsen.
While vinyl’s uptick provides an uplifting story within an industry on the downturn, vinyl sales are still a niche market. In the US, vinyl sales made up just 3.6 percent of all albums sold last year, according to Nielsen. Globally, vinyl sales account for only 2 percent of industry revenues, according to the IFPI.
There are certainly signs that, at the very least, millions will continue to buy vinyl each year. Most tellingly, we recently reported that vinyl consumers are largely music fans under 35, spelling a relatively bright future for the format. In other recent heartening news for vinyl enthusiasts, a Midwestern vinyl manufacturer bought 13 new record presses, just to keep up with demand for new vinyl orders.
While we certainly can’t say vinyl is en route to overtake streaming music anytime soon — or ever — the format is poised to stay on consumer’s radars for the near future and beyond. And for those who once feared vinyl would be lost to the sands of time long ago, that’s a comforting thought.