UK Vinyl Spending To Overtake CDs For The First Time Since The 80s


UK Vinyl sales look set to overtake spending on CDs for the first time since the 1980s. This comes as record labels saw a 30% increase in income from the traditional format according to the British Photographic Industry.

The BPI have now said that income looks set to exceed CD sales for the first time since 1987, a year which saw Pet Shop Boys and Rick Astley topping the charts.

Vinyl performance”A long term compliment to music streaming”

The BPI’s chief executive Geoff Taylor said that Vinyl’s “exceptional performance” despite the retail lockdown, “confirms its role as a long-term complement to music streaming”.

Speaking to the Guardian, Taylor also said, “2021 is likely to be the year in which revenues from LPs overtake those from CDs for the first time in well over three decades – since 1987. In addition to the immediacy and convenience of streaming, fans want to get closer to the artists they love by owning a tangible creation”. 

The Vinyl records sold last year hit 4.8 million, the highest number of records sold in three decades. Records that were particularly popular included Oasis’ “Whats The Story Morning Glory?” along with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”. Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” was also very popular.

The number of CDs sold last year dropped by almost a third to £16 million in 2020, with the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns having an impact.

In 2010, CDs were worth £563 million to UK record labels. Last year saw them drop by 18.5% to £115 million.

It was also reported that 18% of all albums bought by people in the UK last year were Vinyl. This was 10% of 2019’s figures, which was the highest since Britpop Boom in the early 1990s.

The BPI also said that the amount of music streamed in 2020 increased by 22% to 139 billion audio streams. This is up from 2019, which saw 114 billion audio streams.

“Rock music is dead”

This comes after Kiss frontman Gene Simmons reiterated his comments that rock music as a genre is “dead”. He claimed that this happened when “Napster and all that (illegal downloading) started to happen”.  More here. And here.

The Who’s Roger Daltrey also said that he was reluctant to create new music with the band. Like Simmons, the Who frontman is not a fan of streaming (or vinyl) either.

Daltrey said,“There’s no record company anymore. Everybody talks about streaming, but have you seen what artists get from that? It’s a joke”.