19.2 million vinyl albums were sold in the US in the first six months of 2021, a 108% increase on the same period of last year.
The figure is significantly higher than the 9.2 million vinyl LPs that were sold in the first six months of 2020, and part of an ongoing trend that has seen vinyl make a huge resurgence in recent years.
Vinyl album sales also just outedged the sale of CD albums, which sat at 18.9 million for the first six months of 2021, according to MRC Data, an analytics firm that specialises in collecting data from the entertainment and music industries. It follows on from vinyl surpassing the annual revenue of CDs in the US last year for the first time in 34 years, which was the first time that had happened in 34 years.
The increase in music consumption isn't just limited to physical sales, with audio streaming up by 15% in the first half of this year.
The top-selling vinyl albums at the midpoint of the year are Taylor Swift’s 'Evermore', Harry Styles’ 'Fine Line', Kendrick Lamar’s 'Good Kid M.A.A.D. City' and Billie Eilish’s 'When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?'
One significant problem with the resurgence in demand for vinyl, however, is the strain it is putting on vinyl pressing plants, with many struggling to keep up with demand, pushing release dates back or forcing record labels to release music to streaming and digital services long before the vinyl release follows.
Earlier this month, a pop-up record store giving away free vinyl opened in London.
It was also recently reported that independent label releases make up 25% of UK music consumption.