Weekly U.S. vinyl album sales hit a modern-era record high, as 2.11 million vinyl albums were sold in the week ending Dec. 23 according to MRC Data. It’s the single-largest sales week for vinyl albums since MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991.
It’s the first time that weekly vinyl album sales have exceeded 2 million in the MRC Data era. The previous single-week high, since 1991, came a year ago, when 1.84 million vinyl LPs were sold in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020.
Vinyl LP sales surged in the week ending Dec. 23 – by 45% compared to the previous week (1.46 million) – fueled by holiday shopping leading up to Christmas Day on Dec. 25.
The top-selling vinyl album in the week ending Dec. 23 was Adele’s 30, with 59,000 copies sold. It ranks at No. 1 on Billboard’s weekly Vinyl Albums chart for a fifth consecutive week (chart dated Jan. 1, 2022). 30 has sold 293,000 copies on vinyl in the U.S. and is 2021’s top-selling vinyl LP.
Sixth Week in a Row of Million-Plus Vinyl Sales: Further, the week ending Dec. 23 was the sixth week in a row where vinyl album sales exceeded 1 million copies. Since MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales in 1991, weekly vinyl LP sales have surpassed 1 million copies just 14 times – and eight of those weeks have occurred in 2021.
Half of All Albums Sold Were Vinyl LPs: In total in the week ending Dec. 23, vinyl album sales accounted for 50% of all albums sold in the U.S. (2.11 million of 4.23 million). The latter figure includes all physical album sales (CD, vinyl, cassette, etc.) along with digital album sales. Vinyl album sales comprised 57% of all physical albums sold for the week (2.11 million of 3.72 million).
Weekly Vinyl LP Sales Outpaced CD Sales: And, for the 23rd week in 2021, weekly vinyl LP sales exceeded CD album sales – 2.11 million vinyl LPs vs. 1.58 million CDs. Since 1991, vinyl LPs have outsold CDs in just 28 weeks: five weeks in 2020, and 23 weeks – so far – in 2021. (There is one week left in the 2021 tracking year, ending Dec. 30.)