It has been no secret that since the start of the pandemic, I've been obsessed with vinyl records all over again. Part of my interest is out of nostalgia for my old records but I've also bought a lot of new music also being released on vinyl. And you know what? I'm not alone. Weekly sales in the United States of vinyl albums jumped to their second largest week since the MRC Data tracking of sales in 1991. According to Billboard.com:
In the week ending Dec. 2, vinyl album sales totaled 1.46 million (up 39%) – marking the second-biggest week for the format since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. The only larger week in the MRC Data era for vinyl album sales was registered in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020, when 1.84 million albums were sold.
Overall, in the week ending Dec. 2, vinyl LP sales accounted for 46% of all albums sold in the U.S. (1.46 million of 3.17 million). Further, of just physical album sales (vinyl LP, CDs, cassettes, etc.), vinyl LP sales represented 54% of all albums sold for the week (1.46 million of 2.7 million).
Much of the credit goes to the recent release of popular new albums by Adele (30), Taylor Swift (Evermore), Olivia Rodrigo (Sour), and even Billie Eilish (Happier Than Ever). We can also thank The Beatles with their re-release of their album, Let it Be.
I don't know how long this renewed interest in vinyl records will continue but I will say I'm a little concerned that the prices for vinyl continue to climb for both new and used albums. The price has increased so much for vinyl records that it's pushing some potential buyers out of the market. It wouldn't surprise me that those seeking to listen to their music via physical medium start pushing back by buying compact discs instead. And if people starting bringing the cassette tapes out of their closet as another alternative...I won't be surprised as I'm ready for that too.