UK Vinyl Sales Surge to 1990 Peak, What Has Taylor Swift To Do With This?

In 2023, the U.K. witnessed a remarkable surge in vinyl sales, reaching the highest level since 1990.

According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), vinyl sales increased by 11.7%, totaling 5.9 million units and marking the 16th consecutive year of growth in this sector.

Taylor Swift's "1989 (Taylor's Version)" emerged as the best-selling LP, closely followed by the Rolling Stones' "Hackney Diamonds."

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This revival wasn't limited to vinyl alone; cassette sales also thrived, surpassing 100,000 units for the fourth year in a row. Despite streaming dominating music consumption (accounting for over 80% of recorded music consumption), vinyl experienced a resurgence due to its perceived collectibility and superior sound quality.

As per the BBC, Factors contributing to this resurgence included the popularity of independent record stores, the revival of record label HMV (His Master's Voice), particularly with the reopening of its flagship store on London's Oxford Street after a four-year hiatus, and the growing preference for physical music formats.

The top-selling vinyl albums in the UK for 2023 were:

  1. Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version)
  2. The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds
  3. Lana Del Rey - Did You Know There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
  4. Taylor Swift - Speak Now (Taylor's Version)
  5. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  6. Blur - The Ballad of Darren
  7. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
  8. Taylor Swift - Midnights
  9. Olivia Rodrigo - Guts
  10. Lewis Capaldi - Broken by Desire to be Heaven Sent

Taylor Swift notably dominated the top 10 best-selling albums, with three entries—two being re-recordings—as part of her ongoing endeavor to regain control of her earlier works.

Additionally, the BPI highlighted the resurgence of cassette sales after their decline in the early 1990s, while CD sales showed a slowdown, stabilizing at around 11 million units in 2023.

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Image credits: Oleg on Unsplash.

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