Records sales hit £2.5m last week compared with £2.1m for digital, with surge partly attributable to Christmas gift buying
It was once a pastime dominated by audiophile dads and nostalgic hipsters. But last week, for the first time in history, the amount of money spent on vinyl records in the UK overtook that spent on digital downloads.
Vinyl sales hit £2.4m last week compared with the £2.1m made from digital music purchases, further proof that record shopping has gone mainstream.
The interest in buying a physical format of music on vinyl has experienced a resurgence in the past 12 months. This time last year, vinyl albums made £1.2m while digital ones made £4.4m. Vinyl has also experienced eight consecutive years of growth, despite almost dying out around 2006.
Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, attributed the surge in part to the number of places now selling records across the UK. An increasing number of vinyl-only record shops have opened, while supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and even high street interiors shop Tiger, now stock records, making them easily accessible.
Forbes admitted he had been surprised by the resurgence in people buying all types of music on record, although he welcomed it as a change from those who, in years past, bought certain heritage albums as a memento rather than to listen to.
“It makes a change from all the people visiting London who always come in just to buy The Clash London Calling on vinyl, which personally we think is a bit moronic,” said Forbes. “And people have always wanted to buy Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl, which is also a bit depressing. People will still be buying fucking Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl when we’ve all been dead a hundred years.”