UK sales of vinyl records are set to reach a three-decade high as fans unable to attend live music events during the pandemic channel their spare cash into building up their record collections.
Vinyl sales are up almost 10% this year, well on track to break the £100m mark by the end of 2020, making for the best year since 1990 when Sinead O’Connor and New Kids on the Block topped the charts. Sales by volume are also set to beat last year’s 4.3m.
It marks a remarkable bounce back given the market for physical music, from vinyl and CDs to cassettes and DVDs, plunged by almost half in April as the first lockdown shut high streets across the nation.
“We have seen 250% growth from the bottom of lockdown to where we are now,” said Drew Hill, managing director of Proper Music, the UK’s biggest independent distributor of vinyl and CDs. “I thought it could be catastrophic for the industry but during lockdown the kind of people buying records also probably went to a lot of gigs. They can’t do that so it seems fans are spending the money they used to on going to gigs each month on records.” Last week, Kylie Minogue wound back the years as Disco topped the vinyl album chart.
The pandemic has also fuelled the ongoing revival of cassettes, with sales up 85% so far this year, putting total sales on course to top £1m for the first time since renewed interest wound back the years for the format.…