Vinyl Album Sales Hit Historic High in 2014, Again
While overall album sales were down again in 2014, vinyl album sales were a bright spot in an otherwise generally bleak sales picture. Sales of the configuration grew by 52 percent in 2014 to 9.2 million copies (up from 6.1 million in 2013). For the seventh straight year, more vinyl albums were sold than in any other year since Nielsen started tracking music sales in 1991.
The top-selling vinyl album of 2014 is also the top-selling vinyl album of any calendar year in the Nielsen era: Jack White's Lazaretto, with 87,000. (In 2013, the top-selling vinyl album was Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, with 49,000.)
Notably, there were 94 albums that sold at least 10,000 copies on vinyl in 2014 -- up tremendously from 46 titles in 2013.
White's Lazaretto was a blockbuster vinyl seller, scoring the single largest sales week for a vinyl album (40,000 copies) in Nielsen history when it debuted earlier in 2014. Vinyl albums comprised 27 percent of Lazaretto's total sales (87,000 of 325,000).
3.6 percent of all albums sold in 2014 were on vinyl. To compare, 10 years ago in 2004, just 0.2 percent of all albums sold were on vinyl (1.2 million of 681.4 million).
57 percent of all vinyl albums sold in 2014 were purchased at independent stores, while another 36 percent were shifted through non-traditional retailers (such as Web-based stores like Amazon.com and clothing/lifestyle chains like Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters).
A year ago, 64 percent of vinyl albums were sold at indie retailers, while 30 percent were purchased at non-traditional stores.