2018 Coachella Festival
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Vinyl Boom: 10 Million U.S. Album Sales Forecast By End Of Year
On Oct. 1 at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit, BuzzAngle co-founder Chris Muratore forecast the continued rise in vinyl sales — projected to surpass 10 million units in the U.S. alone by the end of 2018.
The Making Vinyl conference is in its second year, and Digital Music News covered Muratore's presentation, noting he intentionally kept his forecast figures conservative. It was 10 years ago that industry observers first noted an uptick in vinyl, coinciding with the inaugural Record Store Day on April 19, 2008. The 11th annual Record Store Day 2018 on April 21 was the highlight of a week when 733,000 formerly old-fashioned turntable records — many newly created for RSD 2018 — were sold.
As streaming grows and CD sales shrink, vinyl's resurgence has people asking whether they will someday surpass the declining compact disc. Members of Muratore's audience noted just two leading pressing plants currently produce more than 10 million annual units. DMN suggested that if the used market were considered, total U.S. sales could amount to double Muratore's figure.
Other interesting facts about vinyl buyers' behavior include genres and days of the week. While rock and pop genres have led vinyl sales so far, "Rap could be a rapid growth area," said Muratore. The dominance of Friday and Saturday shopping among buyers was taken as a sign that the industry shift to New Music Friday for all major releases has been a success. Wednesday had been historically low but bumped up in 2018 by 25 percent, so far. This suggests that while shopping for new music seems to encourage traffic, vinyl buying is increasingly an activity for every day.
One soft spot for sales is country music, but with trends like these, vinyl country might find itself swept into the mix. Perhaps country's delay in joining the vinyl trend might be tied to its loyalty to the CD format in recent years, as Vulture pointed out back in 2015. Either way, surging vinyl sales create revenue opportunity for artists and labels of all types, and these new numbers show the craze has not yet hit a ceiling — good news for creators and collectors alike.