Vinyl revival: Old-school format outpaces digital downloads in U.K. sales

vinyl outpaces digital downloads rip
It may seem retro, but that doesn’t mean it’s not raking in the big bucks. According to a recent report from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), early December marked the first time when vinyl sales topped digital downloads in the U.K. In the first week of the month, vinyl sales hit an impressive $3 million mark, whereas digital downloads capped out at $2.7 million.

This represents a marked shift in consumption habits, as the same time in 2015, vinyl albums were only about a quarter as successful as its digital partner — vinyl albums made $1.5 million in sales, whereas digital downloads made $5.6 million. This role reversal, industry experts say, can be attributed to the rise of streaming services (which has led to the drop in downloads). But what is the reasoning behind the newfound popularity of vinyl? That, the ERA said, could be the holiday effect — now that a number of British supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco stock vinyl, it’s easier than ever to get and gift these nostalgic records.

“This is yet further evidence of the ability of music fans to surprise us all,” ERA chief Kim Bayley said. “It’s not so long ago that the digital download was meant to be the future. Few would have predicted that an album format, first invented in 1948 and based on stamping a groove into a piece of plastic, would now be outselling it in 2016.”

Of course, we should note that while total sales of vinyl outpaced digital downloads, that doesn’t mean that more vinyl was sold. Because these physical albums are far more expensive than their digital alternative, they  are selling a lower quantity but turning over a greater number in sales. So while vinyl comprised $300,000 more worth in sales, there were 120,000 vinyl albums sold in the first week of December, compared to 295,000 digital downloads.

The ERA noted that the “vinyl revival” has come as a surprise for the industry, particularly seeing as they were all but extinct in 2007. For the last eight years, however, vinyl has been on the up and up. So don’t get rid of that record player — it may come in handy yet.

Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Computing

Data breach compromises 773 million records, 21 million passwords

A security researcher was alerted to a collection of breached data that included more than 773 million compromised records. After digging deeper, the breach was revealed to contain more than 21 million passwords.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.
Mobile

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.
Mobile

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.
Music

The best new music this week: Angelo De Augustine and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: New albums from Angelo De Augustine and Miss Grit.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.