Value of vinyl sales overtakes digital downloads in the UK

A picture of a vinyl record
(Image credit: Getty)

Vinyl sales outstripped digital downloads in terms of value last week, the Entertainment Retailers Association has revealed.

Between November 28 and December 4, £2.4million was spent on vinyl albums in the UK, while digital downloads brought in £2.1m in sales. In the same period in 2015, £1.2m was spent on vinyl as opposed to £4.4m on digital formats.

Other than the week of Record Store Day in April, it marks the first time that vinyl has outsold digital when it comes to value.

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) puts the swing down to the upcoming Christmas period and the desire to give a “physical” gift of music, as well as the move towards streaming rather than purchasing digital downloads.

ERA Chief Executive Kim Bayley tells TeamRock: “This is an illustration of the ongoing trend of people rediscovering the vinyl format.

“Clearly vinyl is a much more attractive product than digital downloads. And it’s also helped by supermarkets now stocking vinyl and, not only growing the existing market, but creating a new market for vinyl altogether.

“People are choosing the physical product and very often choosing the high-value format, while people who listen to music digitally are moving towards streaming.”

Bayley also says “hardcore” fans often want to show their support for their favourite acts by purchasing vinyl – usually the most expensive format.

She adds: “Fans want the lovely artwork and good sound that comes with a vinyl product and are willing to spend the extra money on that.”

The ERA points out that digital downloads are still selling in bigger numbers than vinyl, with the difference in value aided by the typically much higher cost of a vinyl product.

Vinyl sales continue to rise

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.