Record Store Day gives massive boost to vinyl sales in 2011

Posted on 3 August 2011
By Richard Lewis
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Following the huge success of International Record Store day on April 16th, sales figures just released (July 31st) show that there has been a huge spike in vinyl sales this year.

First half sales figures show a 55% resurgence in sales of LPs, according to analysis by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) of Official Charts Company data.

Sales of vinyl albums increased to 168,296 units in the first half of 2011, compared with 108,307 in the same period of 2010.

Radiohead lead the pack with sales of more than 20,000 LP sales of King of Limbs.

Despite vinyl album being priced significantly higher than CDs and digital albums, the format has long been a favourite of collectors.

Consumers pay £16.30 for an average vinyl album compared with £7.82 for CD albums and £6.80 for digital albums.

International Record Store Day, celebrating its fourth year captured the public’s imagination.

Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was appointed Ambasador for the event which saw classics from the sixties up to the past decade selling strongly.

The Independant Sector and major labels such as Warners and EMI all participated in the event which saw 251 exclusive releases scheduled for the day.

Biggest-selling vinyl album for the first six months of 2011 was Radiohead’s King of Limbs which sold 20,771 copies.

This compares to just 1,446 copies sold by the best-selling title in the first six months of 2010, the vinyl edition of Paul Weller’s Wake Up The Nation.

For Record Store Day the Oxford band released 12” single Super Collider/The Butcher which was instantly snapped up by collectors.

Neither of the tracks featured on King of Limbs which was released three weeks prior to the single.

Kim Bayley, Director General of ERA, said, ‘Vinyl may still be a niche format, but it is growing fast, whether it is the ‘warmer’ sound many music fans appreciate, the large-scale artwork of a 12” sleeve or its sheer retro appeal.’

‘Vinyl seems to be capturing the imagination of buyers despite the fact it typically costs twice as much as a CD containing exactly the same music.’

The UK numbers follow hot on the heels of figures from Nielsen Soundscan which showed vinyl sales up 41% in the US in the same period.

2010 marked the fourth successive year of growth in vinyl album sales in the UK.

Bayley said, “Much of the focus in the music industry has been on cutting prices, partly in response to the rise of internet piracy. The success of vinyl shows music buyers will pay a premium if we deliver them a package they really love.”

With much-tipped Liverpool band Outfit set to release their debut single on 12”, and The Smiths to reissue their albums on vinyl in the autumn, the love affair between the format and music fans continues.