1 Out of Every 3 Albums Sold in the US in 2021 Were Vinyl LPs

Indie retailers sold almost half of all vinyl LPs, with #TaylorSwift being the format’s top-selling artist 🙌

Taylorswift, Mrc Data 2021 U.S. Year-End Report

1/17/2022 2:00:00 PM

Indie retailers sold almost half of all vinyl LPs, with TaylorSwift being the format’s top-selling artist 🙌

Indie retailers sold almost half of all vinyl LPs, while Taylor Swift was the format’s top-selling artist — accounting for 2.6% of total sales.

VINYL VOLUME TURNED UP:41.72 million vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. in 2021 (up 51.4% from 27.55 million in 2020). 2021 marked the 16th consecutive year vinyl album sales grew, and the largest year for vinyl album sales since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. Also in 2021, Vinyl LP sales saw their single-largest sales week of the MRC Data era, when

2.11 million vinyl albums were sold in the week ending Dec. 23.In 2021, 40.59 million CD albums were sold (up 1.1% from 40.16 million in 2020), making it the second-most popular format among consumers who purchased albums. Strikingly, CD album sales posted a yearly gain for the first time since 2004, when CD sales increased 4.6% to 665.5 million (from 636.5 million in 2003).

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In addition, for the first time since MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991, U.S. vinyl albums outsold CD albums for the year – and vinyl is now the leading format for album purchases overall in America. VINYL VOLUME TURNED UP: 41.72 million vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. in 2021 (up 51.4% from 27.55 million in 2020). 2021 marked the 16th consecutive year vinyl album sales grew, and the largest year for vinyl album sales since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. Also in 2021, Vinyl LP sales saw their single-largest sales week of the MRC Data era, when 2.11 million vinyl albums were sold in the week ending Dec. 23 . In 2021, 40.59 million CD albums were sold (up 1.1% from 40.16 million in 2020), making it the second-most popular format among consumers who purchased albums. Strikingly, CD album sales posted a yearly gain for the first time since 2004, when CD sales increased 4.6% to 665.5 million (from 636.5 million in 2003). Digital album sales were the third-most popular format in 2021 for album purchases, and the segment fell 23.9% in 2021 to 26.19 million (down from 34.42 million in 2020). Vinyl was the dominant format for album purchases in the U.S. up until the early 1980s. After that, cassettes took hold until the early 1990s, when the CD format blossomed and remained king until 2021. INDIES RULE THE VINYL WORLD: Of the 41.72 million total vinyl album sales in 2021, 19.78 million came from the independent retail sector — up 80.8% compared to 2020’s haul of 10.94 million. Indie stores continued to profit in the vinyl space from Record Store Day promotions – including two RSD drops in 2021 and RSD Black Friday, along with many indie store-exclusive vinyl releases. There were 13.4 million vinyl LPs sold in 2021 through the non-traditional sector of the marketplace (up 19.1% compared to the 11.24 million sold via non-traditional sellers in 2020). Non-traditional sellers, as defined by MRC Data, include internet-based retailers like Amazon, mail order and direct-to-consumer sales like an artist’s web store. Mass merchants, such as Target and Walmart, were the third-largest seller of vinyl LPs in 2021, with 6.17 million sold (up 61.8% compared to 3.81 million in 2020). In 2020, vinyl LP sales grew 98.5% at mass merchants. In the past few years, both Target and Walmart have focused on selling vinyl albums – both in-store and online – giving more floorspace to the format inside their physical stores and carrying exclusive variants of vinyl releases. Walmart has even exclusively released a few albums only available on the vinyl LP format, including a pair of