UK vinyl sales reach its highest level since 1990

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UK vinyl sales have rocketed in 2023 reaching their highest level since 1990.

In a report from The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) it has found that vinyl sales have risen for the 16th consecutive year.

In 2023 alone 5.9 million vinyl were sold marking an 11.7% increase year-on-year making it the fastest growth this decade.

Read this next: Vinyl outsells CDs in US for first time since 1987

The report continues to find that 40% of the 100 top vinyl LPs were from British artists such as Depeche Mode and Blur but also included the likes of ‘The Barbie Soundtrack’ featured on this list.

Pop star Taylor Swift reigned with three of her album’s in the official vinyl artist albums chart 2023 which continues the trend from 2022 which found that one in every 25 vinyl albums sold was a Taylor Swift LP.

This resurgence of vinyl comes alongside a shortage of pressing plants with the majority of pressings coming from major labels leaving little room for independent labels.

Mainstream music is also more accessible as independent record shops are continuing to close down with last year seeing the likes of South London record store, Universal Roots Records and Dorset-based vinyl distributor and record store, Unearthed Sounds both shutting down.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI Chief Executive, says: “Led by vinyl, the resurgence of physical product underlines the resilience of the UK music market at a time when streaming consumption continues to hit record levels.Whilst LP sales have now been on an upward path for the past 16 years, it is encouraging to see a stabilisation in demand for CD, as well as new generations of music fans falling in love with the cassette.”

Twist continues: “It is giving people more choice than ever in how they enjoy their favourite music.|”

The BPI has also discovered that cassette still have a demand as sales topped 100,000 units in 2023 for the fourth consecutive year.

Read this next: Vinyl overtakes Playstation games as UK’s second biggest selling physical format

On the other hand, CD have started to decline as they are “plateauing” at 11 million units in 2023.

In another report from the BPI released today, streaming has had a record of growth in 2023, as streaming accounted for 87.7% of the market.

On top of this, the UK’s music streaming market hit 179.6 billion streams which was up 12.8% on the previous year and nearly double the total achieved five years earlier.

This same report from the BPI has revealed that female artists secured a record-breaking 31 out of 52 weeks leading the Official Singles Chart in 2023.

Read report from The British Phonographic Industry on vinyl sales here and its report on streaming here.

For more on the vinyl industry’s struggles, read Mixmag’s 2021 investigation.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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