Record Store Day and Taylor Swift Propel UK Vinyl Sales to 30-Year High

Vinyl album sales reached their highest weekly total in three decades last week as the combination of Record Store Day and Taylor Swift’s anticipated new album, The Tortured Poets Department drove sales to an all-time high. Recent data from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) reveals that over 306,791 LPs and singles flew off the shelves last week alone, marking a significant milestone for physical music enthusiasts.

According to industry figures, nearly a quarter (24.7%) of all vinyl albums sold during the seven days were copies of Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department, underscoring the singer-songwriter’s enduring appeal. Swift’s previous albums, Midnights and 1989 (Taylor’s Version), rounded out the top three best-selling vinyl records, along with The Car by Arctic Monkeys and Harry’s House by Harry Styles.

The allure of exclusive releases tied to Record Store Day further fueled the vinyl frenzy, with these limited-edition offerings accounting for an additional 37.2% of overall sales.

Drew Hill, Deputy CEO of Utopia Music, emphasised the significance of this year’s figures, stating, “Even considering the extra push from Record Store Day and Taylor Swift, the idea that vinyl can rack up a week’s worth of pre-digital era sales shows physical music can stand tall alongside streaming.” He commended the format’s enduring appeal and its role in revitalising record retailers nationwide.

Kim Bailey, CEO of ERA, underscored the pivotal role of indie record shops in championing vinyl amid the digital age. She noted, “Indie record shops were first to realise that the growth of streaming would paradoxically provide an opportunity for the most physical of physical formats, and vinyl has sat at the heart of Record Store Day’s celebration of indie record shop culture since 2008.”

She also credited Taylor Swift for her unwavering support of indie record stores, referencing her role as Record Store Day’s global ambassador in 2022. “Her support has undoubtedly helped drive even more younger fans to indie record shops, helping sustain the stores which are one of the most vibrant elements of the music ecosystem.”

In 2023, vinyl album sales continued their upward trajectory for the sixteenth consecutive year. Remarkably, four of the Top 10 highest-selling weeks for vinyl in the past three decades have occurred within the last 12 months alone.

Top view dreamy young female with red lips wearing casual wear lying on floor with eyes closed and hand behind head and listening to vinyl record player

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