Surprisingly, since 2015, the total record sales of all formats (CDs, digital albums, vinyl records, cassette tapes, etc.) recorded the smallest annual decline. In 2020, total record sales fell by only 9.2% to 102.4 million. This is the first time that annual sales have fallen by 6% since 2015 (since Adele’s 25 Album).
Since 2012, as consumers increasingly turn to streaming services to enjoy music, overall album sales have been steadily declining.
Vinyl LP’s sales accounted for more than a quarter of all album sales in 2020: 26.9% (27.54 million out of 102.4 million). It is worth noting that by 2020, vinyl LP sales will account for 40.5% of all physical record sales in the United States (27.54 million out of 68.01
By 2020, a total of 51 albums have sold at least 50,000 vinyl records, compared with 23 in 2019.
Top 10 vinyl records sold in the U.S. in 2020
1. Harry Styles, Thin line (232,000)
2. Billie Eilish, Where are we going when we are all asleep? (196,000)
3. Queen Greatest hit (176,000)
4. The Beatles Abbey Road (161,000)
5. Original soundtrack Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix, Volume One. 1 piece (152,000)
6. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The best… (148,000)
7. Fleetwood Mac, rumor (138,000)
8. Billie Eilish, Don’t smile at me (126,000)
9.Michael Jackson horror film (125,000)
10. Kendrick Lamar, Good boy in MAAD (117,000)
Source: MRC data, the tracking period is from January 3, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Of the total sales of LP records in 2020, the leading 11.24 million are from non-traditional markets, including Internet-based retailers (Amazon, etc.), mail order and direct-to-consumer sales (such as artists’ official sales online stores). By 2020, the total sales of non-traditional vinyl LPs have increased by 52.5%, higher than the 7.37 million in 2019.
Although the complexity of COVID-19 has caused many brick-and-mortar record stores to reconsider how they operate in 2020, the second largest seller of vinyl records is brick-and-mortar independent record stores, which sold 10.94 million copies (an increase of 45.6%) . Record Store Day (RSD) four separate promotions at independent stores in 2020 (three RSD downgrades, and RSD Black Friday) may blur this number.
By 2020, mass merchants such as Target and Walmart are the third largest sellers of vinyl, selling 3.81 million copies (an increase of 98.5%). Over the past few years, Target and Wal-Mart have continued to expand the vinyl market. This is due to the huge growth of mass retailers. Both retailers have dedicated more store space to vinyl and sell their own proprietary vinyl LP variants. .