Vinyl Sales Up 33% in the US in 2013–But Don’t Get Too Excited

It’s nice to see more people getting (back) into vinyl.  According to Nielsen Soundscan, sales were up 33% over 2013–but that figure is a little misleading.  Out of all the music purchased in America last year, 6.1 million units were on vinyl.  Yes, that’s a big improvement over the 4.55 million units in 2012, but it’s still a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of total music sales.

Still, it’s good to see.  This is the sixth straight year that we’ve seen increases in vinyl sales.  In fact, more vinyl was sold in 2013 since Soundscan was launched in 1991.

The big sellers?

1.  Daft Punk, Random Access Memories:  49,000 copies, including 19,000 in its first week.  And each copy was expensive.  I think I paid $38 for mine.

2.  Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City:  34,000.

I’m sure we’ll get more numbers in the days ahead.  I, for example, would like to know how the Beatles’ Abbey Road did in 2013.  It’s been a perennial best-seller for years.

Meanwhile, you can read a great sales breakdown for 2013 at Billboard.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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