UK vinyl sales increase for 16th consecutive year reaching highest level since 1990

Over a quarter of a million vinyl albums were sold during the course of last week alone.

Vinyl records displayed on the wall in HMV. There are also large boxes filled with vinyls, which are sorted under labels such as "rock" and "pop". A person stands to the right of the photo, holding one of the records.

Image: Peter Nicholls / Getty

Sales of vinyl records in the UK continued to soar throughout 2023, having reached the highest sales figures since 1990.

Vinyl LP sales have been consecutively rising for 16 years now. Following a 2.9 percent improvement in unit sales last year, the vinyl market in 2023 has increased more than four times as fast with an 11.7 percent rise in 2023 to 5.9 million units.

The impressive figures have been shared by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in an end of year report, which analyses Official Charts data. The organisation states that the increase has been led by new releases from artists including Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Lewis Capaldi, The Rolling Stones, and Taylor Swift.

Over a quarter of a million vinyl albums were sold during the course of last week alone in the lead up to Christmas, making it the highest sales week for the format this century.

The CD market has also sustained its smallest annual decline in nearly a decade this year as it moves closer to plateauing, according to the report. Nearly 11 million CDs were sold across the year, while sales of cassettes topped 100,000 units in a calendar year for the fourth consecutive year.

The top 10 best-selling vinyl records (as of chart week 51 2023) are:

  1. Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
  2. The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds
  3. Lana Del Rey –  Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
  4. Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
  5. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  6. Blur – The Ballad Of Darren
  7. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
  8. Taylor Swift – Midnights
  9. Olivia Rodrigo – Guts
  10. Lewis Capaldi – Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent

BPI Chief Executive, Dr Jo Twist OBE, says of the findings: “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. It is giving people more choice than ever in how they enjoy their favourite music.”

Read the full report over at the BPI. Final figures for vinyl LP, CD and cassette sales in 2023 will be unveiled by the BPI on 3 January as part of its Official 2023 UK Recorded Music Market Update, which will also report the total volume of audio streams for the year and the final year-end Official Charts.


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