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(Credit: Clem Onojeghuo)

Music

Physical music sales grow for the first time in 20 years

It seems that that coffee-sipping, goatee wearing, vinyl loving hipsters have done something right. The Entertainment Retailers Association has recorded a year-on-year increase in physical sales revenue. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to re-release Dark Side of The Moon on vinyl, eh?

This report follows the BPI’s market figures based on unit sales, which pinpointed the rise of vinyl purchases. It’s not our place to say whether or not vinyl is better (although obviously it is), but seminal artists ABBA, Adele and Ed Sheeran have helped pivot the focus back from the digital onto the mechanical.

Contrary to projected feats that the coronavirus lockdown might make an impact on music sales, 2021 figures unveiled by ERA today show the music, video and games markets generated another all-time-record sales total of £9.72 billion, its ninth successive year of growth. 

CEO Kim Bayley stated: “The return of physical music sales to growth a full two decades since they started to decline is nothing short of a miracle. It is a testament more than anything to the doggedness and resilience of physical retailers, led by the indies, who have driven the vinyl revival in the face of some initial scepticism”.

Driven by the streaming platforms of Spotify, YouTube and Amazon, the industry pocketed a tidy £1.33bn for its efforts. Approximately, 70p in the pound is paid by streaming services to the music industry, 

Bayley said: “New releases undoubtedly increase the engagement of music fans with streaming services and in 2021 the music industry delivered several blockbusters. What is increasingly clear, however, is that the biggest driver of revenue is the innovation and investment of the services themselves.”

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