Mid-Year Report: Vinyl and Taylor Swift Continue to Dominate
Vinyl is still soaring.
According to Nielsen's mid-year music sales report, vinyl sales are up 38 percent versus this time last year. Vinyl currently comprises 9 percent of all physical music sales -- a sizeable proportion, considering last year it only comprised 6 percent.
The leader of the pack so far is Taylor Swift, whose 1989 has sold a total of 33,500 vinyl copies. (That still pales in comparison to Jack White's Lazaretto, which sold 87,000 copies in 2014.) The rest of the top five includes some of the usual suspects: Sufjan Stevens' Carrie and Lowell comes in at number 2; Arctic Monkeys' AM is No. 3; and Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color, the band's followup to 2012's Boys & Girls, comes in at No. 4. Miles Davis' jazz crossover masterpiece Kind of Blue rounds out the top five.
Meanwhile, new vinyl pressing plants are popping up around the country, and the big ones are increasing capacity, often dramatically.
Streaming is still on the rise, according to the Nielsen report. No surprise there, except possibly how huge the growth continues to be. On-demand streaming grew 92.4 percent since last year. 135 billion songs were streamed in total.
Digital album sales are flat since last year, and digital track sales were down about 10 percent -- not surprising given the concurrent rise in streaming.