For the 13th consecutive year, vinyl record sales grew in the U.S. in 2018 -- but the vinyl market still accounts for just under 12 percent of total music purchases, even though that's almost double the previous year's percentage.
Citing Nielsen Music figures, Billboard reports that CD sales, while still nearly five times that of vinyl, fell by over 20 percent.in 2018 to 70 million, about half of all album sales.
As for the top selling acts on vinyl last year, The Beatles led by a wide margin a Top 10 that features nearly all classic rock acts, with the fourth best selling Panic! At the Disco the only entry whose career began this century.
- The Beatles - 321,000
- Pink Floyd - 177,000
- David Bowie - 150,000
- Panic! at the Disco - 148,000
- Fleetwood Mac - 139,000
- Led Zeppelin - 138,000
- Michael Jackson - 131,000
- Jimi Hendrix - 119,000
- Metallica - 116,000
- Queen - 113,000
Individual vinyl album sales were led by a soundtrack album, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, which just edged out Michael Jackson's Thriller. Vintage albums by Top 10 overall vinyl sellers Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Queen, as well as a brand new one by Panic! At the Disco, also made the Top 10.
- Soundtrack - Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 - 84,000
- Michael Jackson - Thriller - 84,000
- Fleetwood Mac - Rumours - 77,000
- The Beatles - Abbey Road - 76,000
- Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain (Soundtrack) - 71,000
- Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon - 67,000
- Bob Marley and The Wailers - Legend: The Best Of… - 61,000
- Queen - Greatest Hits - 60,000
- Amy Winehouse - Back to Black - 59,000
- Panic! at the Disco - Pray for the Wicked - 59,000
Also announced were the Top 10 selling vinyl singles. The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," backed with "Eleanor Rigby," released to mark the 50th anniversary of their Yellow Submarine movie, led the list.
- The Beatles - "Yellow Submarine" - 10,000
- Prince - "Nothing Compares 2 U" - 9,000
- Led Zeppelin - "Rock and Roll"/"Friends" - 8,000
- Sleep - "Leagues Beneath" - 5,000
- Chris Cornell - "When Bad Does Good" - 4,000
- David Bowie - "Let's Dance" (Full Length Demo) - 4,000
- Paul McCartney - "I Don't Know"/"Come On To Me" - 4,000
- U2 - "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" - 3,000
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" - 3,000
- John Williams - "The Rebellion Is Reborn" - 3,000
Talk About It:
- If vinyl sales keep growing and CD sales shrink at the current rate, vinyl sales could actually pass CD sales in three or four years.
- Will vinyl's audience start to shrink eventually, given that classic rock catalog seems to sell in the format, but newer music not so much?
- Did anyone out there actually buy a vinyl single this year?