The tracker of all things music, Nielsen, has released its year-end report, and no surprise here, digital continues to rule while physical sales decline. Except for one big category: Vinyl.
That’s right, records are continuing to make a huge comeback: “Vinyl album sales were up 52 percent in 2014, shattering last year’s record-setting total by more than 3 million LPs,” said David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights for Nielsen Entertainment. “In 2014, vinyl album sales accounted for more than 6 percent of all physical albums sales.”
Sure, 6 percent doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is 9.2 million albums sold last year, the “highest year for vinyl sales since 1991,” according to Nielsen SoundScan, the year they started tracking music sales. They also report that vinyl keeps growing: Sales have increased over the past nine years.
Digital continues its aggressive growth as well, showing a 54 percent increase over 2013: 164 billion on-demand audio and video streams in 2014 easily trumps the 106 billion streams in 2013.
The artists who emerged as 2014’s big winners are no surprise as well: Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the Frozen soundtrack were No. 1 and 2, respectively, on both physical and digital albums sales charts. Pharrell’s “Happy” was the most downloaded song of 2014.