The return of vinyl: a period of constant growth in sales

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

In recent years, vinyl album sales in the United Sales began rapidly growing. In 2011, 3.9 million vinyl LPs were sold in the United States — in 2012, the number grew to 4.6 million vinyl LPs. In 2013 and 2014, the number of albums sold on vinyl amounted to 6.1 million and 9.2 million respectively. In 2015, the number rose to 11.9 million vinyl LPs and reached its peak of 13.1 million vinyl albums in 2016.


In 2014, the global vinyl market generated $347 million in sales. The leading vinyl record retailer in the country is, which was the choice of 39 percent of survey respondents in 2015. Best Buy took second place, chosen by 20 percent of survey respondents. Independent record stores and eBay took the same percentage of sales (18 percent). About 17 percent of survey respondents said they bought vinyl at swap meets or flea markets.


During a survey conducted in April of 2016, it was found that 5 million consumers bought used vinyl records and more than 3 million consumers bought new vinyl records in an average month. The largest share of vinyl listeners was found among people aged 55 years and older: 26 percent. About 24 percent of vinyl listeners were between the ages of 13 and 24. Vinyl listeners aged 25 to 34 composed 20 percent of the overall number, while people aged 35 to 44 made up 14 percent. It was also found that 17 percent of vinyl lovers were people between the ages of 45 and 54.


In 2015, the top-selling vinyl album in the United States was “25” by the strong-voiced British singer Adele. This album, which was released on November 20, 2015, came in first with over 115,000 vinyl copies sold. Taylor Swift took second place with her album “1989,” which sold 74,000 vinyl copies. The comeback album “Dark Side of The Moon” by Pink Floyd was third with 50,000 vinyl copies sold.

In 2016, the top-selling vinyl album in the United States was the album “Blurryface” by the sensational alternative duo Twenty One Pilots; its sales amounted to 68 million copies. “Blackstar” by the legendary David Bowie was purchased by 66 million vinyl listeners. The top hit of 2015, Adele’s “25”, took third place with 58 million copies. The sales of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” amounted to the same number — 58 million copies.


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About Pavel Prikhodko

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Pavel has worked for many years as a researcher and developer on a wide range of applications (varying from mechanics and manufacturing to social data, finance and advertising), building predictive systems and trying to find stories that data can tell.

In his free time, he enjoys being with his family.

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