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UK vinyl sales to overtake CDs for the first time since the 1980s


Sales of vinyl in the UK look determined to overtake CDs for the first time since the 1980s after record labels witness a recent 30 per cent increase in income from the format.

The statistics are courtesy of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), and the institution claims that they believe vinyl income looks to exceed CDs for the first time since 1987. For more information on just how long ago that was musically speaking, vinyl’s biggest selling single of that year was Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, told The Guardian: “Vinyl’s exceptional performance despite retail lockdowns confirms its role as a long-term complement to music streaming.

“2021 is likely to be the year in which revenues from LPs overtake those from CDs for the first time in well over three decades – since 1987. In addition to the immediacy and convenience of streaming, fans want to get closer to the artists they love by owning a tangible creation.”

Last year, vinyl records managed to achieve a three-decade high of 4.8million in 2020. The Official Charts Company’s top-five selling pieces of vinyl were topped by Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, with Oasis ‘What’s The Story, Morning Glory? claiming second spot and Amy Winehouse in third with Back To Black. Harry Styles’ sophomore album Fine Line took fourth place, and Kylie Minogue clinched fifth with Disco.

According to the report, the number of CDs sold dropped by almost a third to 16 million in 2020. This figure is some change from 2010 when the format was worth £563million to UK record labels and income from vinyl was only worth £3.5million.

Record labels also noted an 18.5 per cent decline in CD income last year to £115million.

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