Chart Beat

U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Hit New Record High in Christmas Week 2020

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Record Store, Route 66.

Vinyl LP sales at indie record stores also reach single-week Nielsen Music/MRC Data record.

As predicted, U.S. vinyl album sales hit another historic high, as 1.842 million LPs were sold in the week ending Dec. 24, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That’s the largest week for the format since Nielsen Music/MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. The previous high was set only a week earlier, when 1.445 million were sold in the frame ending Dec. 17.

Furthermore, vinyl album sales outpaced CD sales for the week: 1.841 million vs. 1.671 million. It’s the fourth time that’s happened since 1991, and all four instances occurred in 2020.

Vinyl LP sales at independent record stores were also record-setting, as 733,000 copies were sold via indie stores in the week ending Dec. 24 -- the biggest week for the format at indies dating to 1991. The previous record week came during Record Store Day 2019’s week (673,000; week ending April 11, 2019).

Vinyl LP sales received a holiday boost in the week ending Dec. 24, as the tracking frame captured the seven shopping days leading up to Christmas Day (Dec. 25).

The top-selling vinyl album in the week ending Dec. 24 was Paul McCartney’s new studio set McCartney III, which launches atop the Vinyl Albums chart with nearly 32,000 sold – the third-largest sales week for a vinyl album since 1991.