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Vinyl outsells CDs in the UK for the first time in 35 years

With the massive resurgence of the vinyl record platform continuing to show strong numbers, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, the format has reached a feat in the UK that hasn’t been accomplished since 1988.  While the country has been seeing a growth in sales numbers consistently in recent years, new releases from massive stars Harry Styles and Taylor Swift helped the vinyl records as they continue to outperform other entertainment platforms.

As 2022 comes to a close, reports are showing that vinyl records have actually outsold CDs by nearly 16% throughout the year.  In terms of actual sales, it meant £116.8 million for records, while CDs stalled at £98.3 million.  For CDs, the decreased figures also fit recent trends, as the format reached £150 million last year, but that was a 3.9% decrease from the year prior.  Although vinyl sales saw a slight dip from the 2021 peak of £135.6 million, the 2022 figures were still strong enough to surpass CDs while earning the number 2 spot in the UK for entertainment assets, surpassing the sale of Playstation games.

Of course, the news will excite traditionalists and collectors who have helped to support the rise in vinyl sales, and the occasion was noted by industry insiders including leaders at BPI:

Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of music industry trade body the BPI said, “As the LP marks its 75th anniversary in 2023, it’s as relevant as ever. In an age of streaming, physical music purchases remain an essential and healthy part of the music market.”

Industry insiders also continue to marvel at the statistics, as many felt that vinyl records were officially a thing of the past as CDs became the prominent formant throughout the 90s and much of the 2000s:

Kim Bayley, the chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said, “It’s a watershed moment for the entire music industry. After the CD came along and pretty much wiped out the vinyl business, few of us would have believed a renaissance like this was possible.”



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