Skip to main content

Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 Helps Drive Third-Biggest Sales Week for Vinyl In Nielsen Era

Record Store Day Black Friday promotions on Nov. 29 helped drive another big win for vinyl album sales — and the largest overall sales week for albums in 2019 — according to Nielsen Music.

The data tracking firm reports that 855,000 vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. during the week of Nov. 29 through Dec. 5 — the third-largest sales week for vinyl LPs since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. The only weeks with larger sales were the frames ending Dec. 20, 2018 (880,000) and Dec. 27, 2018 (905,000).

Also goosing sales in the most recent tracking week were Black Friday discounts and promotions on vinyl LPs at both Walmart and Target, where many titles were temporarily marked down to $15.

Further, the sizzling vinyl sales around Black Friday helped yield an overall industry haul of 2,819,000 albums sold across all formats (vinyl, CD, download, cassette, etc.) — the biggest sales week for albums in 2019. The last week to generate a larger overall album sales number was the week ending Dec. 27, 2018, when a total of 4,391,000 albums were sold.


The top-selling Record Store Day Black Friday-exclusive album at indie stores in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 5 was Pearl Jam’s vinyl LP debut of its 1992 MTV Unplugged concert. The seven-song MTV Unplugged set sold 10,000 copies. The top-selling single was U2’s three-song Three set on 12” vinyl. The title, which was originally released in the band’s homeland of Ireland in 1979, contains the songs “Out of Control,” “Stories for Boys” and “Boy-Girl.” Three sold a little over 3,000 copies. (See below for top 25 lists of the week's top selling Record Store Day exclusive albums and singles, as compiled by Nielsen Music.)

Notable statistics about 2019 Record Store Day Black Friday and its impact:

Third-Largest Sales Week for Vinyl Albums in Nielsen History: 855,000 vinyl albums were sold industry-wide in the week ending Dec. 5. That’s the third-largest sales week for vinyl albums since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.

Biggest Overall Album Sales Week of 2019: Album sales across all formats (CD, download, vinyl, cassette, etc.) totaled 2,819,000 in the week ending Dec. 5. That’s the largest sales week of 2019 for albums, and the biggest since the week ending Dec. 27, 2018 (4,391,000).


Nearly 1 in 3 Albums Sold Last Week Were Vinyl: 30% of all albums sold in the week ending Dec. 5 were on vinyl. In total, there were 2,819,000 million albums sold during the week (across all formats, including CD, digital, vinyl, cassette, etc.), and of those, 855,000 were on vinyl LP.

Almost 40% of All Physical Albums Sold Last Week Were Vinyl: Focusing only on physical format albums, there were 2,196,000 million sold in the week ending Dec. 5. Vinyl LPs’ share of that sum – 855,000 – comprised 39% of the physical album marked.

36% of All Vinyl Albums Were Sold at Indie Stores: Sales of vinyl LPs at indie record stores accounted for 36% of all vinyl albums sold last week (307,000 of 855,000). Vinyl LP sales at mass merchants (which include Target and Walmart) totaled 172,000; non-traditional merchants (including Internet sellers like Amazon) accounted for 321,000 vinyl album sales, while chain stores rang up 55,000 in vinyl LP sales.

Top Record Store Day Exclusive Albums at Independent Record Stores
Rank, Artist, Title
1. Pearl Jam, MTV Unplugged
2. Phish, The Story of the Ghost
3. The Doors, Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
4. Jerry Garcia Band, GarciaLive Volume One: March 1st 1980 Capitol Theatre
5. Lizzo, Coconut Oil (EP)
6. Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Live Frogs: Set 1 & 2
7. Cheap Trick, Are You Ready Or Not? 12/31/1979
8. Miles Davis, Early Minor: Rare Miles From the Complete In a Silent Way Sessions
9. Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies: Live, Houston, Tx, April ‘73
10. Miles Davis, Miles In Tokyo: Miles Davis Live In Concert
11. Devo, Devo Live
12. Soundtrack, Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
13. Elvis Presley, American Sound 1969
14. Various Artists, Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits
15. Geddy Lee, My Favorite Headache
16. Jeff Buckley, Live at KCRW: Morning Becomes Eclectic (EP)
17. Bill Evans, Live at Art D’Lugoff’s Top of the Gate
18. Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars, Live in 1956 (Allentown, PA)
19. Paul Westerberg & Grandpaboy, Stereo/Mono
20. Herbie Hancock, Directstep
21. Ace Frehley, Frehleys Comet Live…
22. Alice Cooper, Dragtontown
23. The Runaways, Live In Japan
24. Soundtrack, Desperado
25. Hank Williams, The 1940 Recordings
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending Dec. 5, 2019

Top Record Store Day Exclusive Singles at Independent Record Stores
Rank, Artist, Title

1. U2, Three (Out of Control/Stories for Boys/Boy-Girl)
2. Paul McCartney, Home Tonight/In a Hurry
3. Madonna, I Rise
4. Nick Lowe & Wilco, Cruel To Be Kind (40th Anniversary Edition)
5. Jimi Hendrix, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
6. Willie Nelson, Sometimes Even I Can Get Too High/It’s All Going To Pot
7. Frank Zappa, Peaches En Regalia
8. Slipknot, All Out Life/Unsainted
9. Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars
10. Arcade Fire, Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. Alex Chilton, My Rival
12. The Kinks, Arthur/Brainwashed
13. The J.B.’s, More Mess On My Thing
14. Jenny Lewis, On the iPhone
15. Dio, Rainbow In the Dark (Live)
16. Eric Clapton, Home for the Holidays/For Love On Christmas Day
17. Katy Perry, Never Really Over/Small Talk
18. Rodrigo y Gabriela, Mettal EP (Holy War/Battery/Seasons In the Abyss)
19. Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas 3” Blind Box
20. Blind Willie Johnson, Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground/It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine
21. Robert Johnson, Sweet Home Chicago/Walkin Blues
22. Sammy Hagar, Santa’s Going South for Christmas
23. Randy Newman, You’ve Got a Friend In Me 3”
24. The New Pornographers, Stand-Up/Fade Baby Fade
25. Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science/One of Our Submarines
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending Dec. 5, 2019