Business

UK Vinyl Sales Already Exceed 2013 Totals, Thanks to Arctic Monkeys, Led Zeppelin

LED ZEPPELIN
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Led Zeppelin poses for a publicity portrait in 1969 in England. (L-R) John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones.

It's shaping up to be a banner year for vinyl in the United Kingdom, with releases by Arctic Monkeys, Jack White and Oasis helping sales to already exceed totals for all of last year in that country. According to the Entertainment Retailers Association, year-to-date sales of vinyl albums now total 844,122, over the 829,243 sales in 2013.

The ERA is confident that with three months to go in 2014, sales should ultimately reach a million, an impressive milestone given annual vinyl sales were a quarter of that as recently as 2008.

"This is an extraordinary turnaround," said ERA director Kim Bayley. "Independent retailers were first to identify the untapped potential for vinyl and made it the focus of Record Store Day. With record labels now making more vinyl available, this trend shows no sign of abating."

Veteran rock acts dominate the vinyl top 10 this year, with Stone Roses' self-titled debut, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and three titles from Led Zeppelin all making the list. Only one new band, Royal Blood, made the tally, with its self-titled album landing at No. 4.

As is the case worldwide, the compact disc remains the physical product of choice in the UK, by far. This year's record vinyl sales makes up less than 3 percent of the physical albums market, with the other 97 percent going to the CD.

The vinyl renaissance is also in full swing in the United States. Nielsen SoundScan counts 5.9 million albums scanned year-to-date for the week ending Sept. 21, up 47 percent from the nearly 4.2 million scanned in the same period last year. Vinyl now comprises nearly 3.5 percent of album sales -- ten years ago, vinyl was 0.2 percent.

Last week, Urban Outfitters made headlines by claiming to be the world's premiere seller of vinyl. Except it's not, as a Billboard analysis showed.

The Top 10 Vinyl Albums in the UK:

1. Arctic Monkeys – AM
2. Jack White – Lazaretto
3. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
4. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
5. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
6. Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
7. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III
8. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
9. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II
10. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not