Skip to main content

Vinyl sales are still on the rise in 2015, fueling a revival that keeps pointing up

vinyl recorder app
AngeloDeVal /

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.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Chris Leo Palermino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chris Leo Palermino is a music, tech, business, and culture journalist based between New York and Boston. He also contributes…
What is hi-res audio, and how can you experience it right now?
Dlyan Wireless Headphones

High-resolution audio, hi-res audio, or even HD audio -- whatever you decide to call it (for the record, the industry prefers "hi-res audio"), it's a catch-all term that describes digital audio that goes above and beyond the level of sound quality you can expect from a garden-variety MP3 file and even CDs. It was once strictly the domain of audiophiles, but now that major streaming music services like Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz have embraced it, almost everyone can take advantage of what hi-res has to offer.

But what exactly is hi-res audio? What equipment do you need to listen to it? Where can you download or stream it? And does it actually sound better? We've got the answers.
What does the term 'hi-res audio' mean?

Read more
How to download music from Spotify for offline listening
How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: The downloads folder.

If you're a Spotify Premium user paying that premium Spotify fee, chances are you've taken at least some time curating playlists, liking songs, and using the platform's easy-to-use (and recently revamped) user interface to discover new and old music.

But sometimes all that music or your favorite podcasts aren't available if you find yourself without an internet connection to stream them from — like on a long plane ride or weekend camping trip in the sticks. That's where Spotify's offline listening feature comes in handy, allowing you to download playlists, albums, and podcasts through its desktop and mobile apps so you can still rock out while you're off the grid.

Read more
How to switch from Spotify to Apple Music
Spotify and Apple Music transfer on a smartphone.

Spotify is the world's most popular music streaming service for a reason. It has a massive catalog of music and podcasts, is full of cool music discovery and sharing features, and is really easy to use.
However, with its recent price increase and the fact that it still hasn't joined most of its peers in offering a hi-res audio quality option, you may be considering jumping ship for its closest competitor, Apple Music, which counts lossless hi-res tracks, mind-bending spatial audio, Dolby Atmos Music tracks, and a catalog that rivals Spotify's among the many attractive reasons to switch.

But there's one problem: you’ve spent a lot of time creating playlists and marking songs and albums as your favorites in Spotify. Is it worth the switch? Will all that hard work be lost in translation?

Read more