Vinyl, Music News, News

Weekly U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Break Modern-Era Record

More than two million vinyl LPs were sold last week, making it the biggest vinyl sales week since at least 1991, according to Billboard.

Thanks to MRC Data, those keeping track of vinyl sales have found the total - 2.11 million vinyl albums sold last week - outperformed the 1.84 million LPs sold during the week ending December 24, 2020. It’s also the first time vinyl sales have surpassed the 2 million mark in the MRC Data era.

The holiday season has given vinyl sales a welcome boost. But putting the time of year aside, vinyl albums have been selling increasingly well over the last few years. In 2020, vinyl sales increased by 29.2 percent, according to the RIAA.

Strong vinyl sales in 2021 have been attributed to special marquee albums from major artists like Adele, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish. In August, Eilish’s Happier Than Ever sold 73,000 vinyl copies in its first week. In November, Swift set a new record for vinyl sales in the modern era, selling 114,000 Red (Taylor’s Version) vinyl LPs in the first week. Later that month, Adele set the record for second-best debut week vinyl sales, selling 108,000 copies of 30.

Since its release, Adele’s 30 has continued to sell well on vinyl. It has earned the title of best-selling vinyl album of the year, and was also the top-selling vinyl during the record-breaking week. It sold 59,000 copies last week, Billboard reported.

Furthermore, the week ending December 23 was the sixth consecutive week that vinyl sales surpassed the one million mark. This past week, vinyl records also accounted for 50% of all albums and 57% of all physical albums sold in the United States.

While vinyl records are becoming trendy again, the vinyl industry does face some problems. Many smaller artists are struggling to get their records pressed due to supply issues, and rising heat - particularly summer heat waves - caused by climate change are making it harder for vinyl to be delivered to consumers without being warped.

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Article Image: Vinyl records lined up neatly on shelves in a record store. (Mick Haupt via Unsplash.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey