Vinyl is making a comeback. Sales of vinyl in 2016 reached a 25-year high as consumers young and old have once again embraced physical formats of music. More than 3.2m LPs were sold last year, a rise of 53% on last year and the highest number since 1991. This was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads in the U.K.
The statistics, compiled by BPI, show that this is the ninth consecutive year that vinyl has grown, thanks to events such as record store day, which has now become a nationwide phenomenon, and the increase in shops selling vinyl. At least 30 albums sold more than 10,000 copies in 2016.
Music streaming – which has rocketed 500% since 2013, with 45 billion audio streams over 2016 – had led people back to vinyl as a way of tangibly owning music and because streaming had encouraged music discovery. While vinyl sales still only account for 5% of the albums market, they are becoming increasingly important sources of income for record labels and musicians.
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