News October 27, 2015

Vinyl royalties continue to outdo digital platforms

Vinyl royalties continue to outdo digital platforms

Out-doing YouTube, Spotify’s free tier, Vevo and SoundCloud (combined), vinyl royalties have become the ‘new but old kid’ on the sales block, sweeping its digital competitors to the curb of late.

The resurgence of record sales has been no secret in the past few years but figures released this week by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) suggest this historic and familiar icon is still dominating royalty figures.

According to the data, vinyl sales reached $221.8 million on 9.2 million units at the half-point of this year in the US, a 52.1 percent year-over-year surge. Collectively, free music streaming earned $162.7 million during the first six months of this year, according to the same RIAA data set.

Vinyl album sales between January and March of this year were 53 percent higher than the first three months of 2014, according to a recent Nielsen report. The report states that catalogue vinyl album sales are up 66 percent. It also notes that current vinyl releases are up 37 percent in the first three months of 2015. The vinyl total  includes EPs, although singles (45s) separately sold $4.2 million on a volume of roughly 400,000 units.

2014 witnessed vinyl LP sales reaching a 20-year high in the UK at 1.29 million, following seven years of unbroken growth, and now, new Official Charts Company data for the first quarter of 2015 reveals that this trend is continuing at pace, with vinyl album purchasing up yet again a staggering 69% versus the same period in 2014, and vinyl singles are also up 23%.

In a statement to Official Charts, London vinyl retailer Phil Barton of Sister Ray Records, said: “The resurgence in vinyl sales has been a great boost for the independent trade. The launch of the Official Vinyl Charts tells the world that a format that is loved and revered is more relevant now than ever – far from being a curiosity, vinyl is the go-to format for many music fans.”

Locally, Australian vinyl sales more than doubled during 2014, increasing by a total of 127 percent.  Record stores shifted a total of 137,858 vinyl units in 2013, and last year saw the Aussie vinyl sector moving 277,767 records. While these figures are relatively small compared to CDs and especially to digital formats, it’s important to note that such growth was not only unexpected, but contributed almost $6.5 million to the Australian music industry.

Vinyl record sales now represent 2% of the global recording industry’s $14.97 billion worth.

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