Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Vinyl overtakes digital downloads for first time ever

Words: Ellie Ward

They say a good thing never dies, and while vinyl albums have been steadily in decline over the last decades, now for the first time sales of vinyl long-players have last week reached £2.4 million, compared to £2.1 million digital downloads.

The Entertainment Retailers Association record these latest figures against last year's, where only £1.2m was spent on vinyl albums, compared to £4.4m  in digital downloads.

All of which means that downloads are still the more popular product. According to the ERA, 120,000 vinyl albums were sold last week, compared with 295,000 digital ones.

So does this spell a new growth era for the humble vinyl album? Certainly both vinyl and cassette tapes have seen their popularity increasing once again over the last few years in their fight against CDs, minidiscs, MP3s, and online streaming. ERA cites factors such as Record Store Day and the sale of vinyl now in supermarkets such as Sainsbury's and Tesco as reasons for the trend.

However, as last week's biggest-selling vinyl release was Kate Bush's triple-disc live album 'Before The Dawn', which retails at a fairly hefty £52, when compared to a download of the same recording for £12, it is obvious that for some, at least, cost may be a prohibitive factor.

But with fairly decent record players, turntables and decks to be found from under £100, this could at least solve one of your Christmas present problems this year.

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