Musicians' Union welcomes vinyl sales figures

A photograph of a vinyl record on a turntable
(Image credit: Getty)

The Musicians’ Union has welcomed the latest vinyl sales figures, which indicate more and more young people are buying physical music products.

Nielsen’s mid-year report shows that vinyl sales are up 11% this year so far, with David Bowie’s Blackstar at the top of list with 57,000 copies sold on vinyl.

At no.3 in the list is Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots, while their 2013 effort Vessel is at no.8 in the top 10 list. That would suggest fans of the band’s recent hit record Blurryface have been turned on to their older material too.

Coupled with last week’s news that young people in America pay for music more than their parents, it offers a ray of light for an industry that is still suffering falls in sales of physical music products other than vinyl.

Caroline Sewell, Regional Officer for the Musicians’ Union in Scotland and Northern Ireland, tells TeamRock: “It’s very encouraging that these figures seem to show that young people are buying vinyl, as it’s a demographic that is perhaps usually associated with illegal downloading and streaming.

“The Musicians’ Union would welcome any indication that sales of physical products are rising. That’s good news for our members and for the industry.”

But Sewell warns that streaming continues to grow and says that “streaming can’t be seen as a replacement for buying physical products” as profits are not always passed on to artists.

She adds: “Other figures indicate that streaming is on the rise and that’s still a major concern for us.”

Top 10 selling vinyl albums so far in 2016

  1. David Bowie - ‘Blackstar’ (57,000)
  2. Adele - ‘25’ (36,000)
  3. Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface (31,000)
  4. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (27,000)
  5. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers (23,000)
  6. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly (22,000)
  7. The Beatles - Abbey Road (21,000)
  8. Twenty One Pilots - Vessel (20,000)
  9. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (19,000)
  10. The Lumineers - Cleopatra (19,000)

Half of vinyl buyers never play their records

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.