January 28, 2020 | Music

There’s no denying 2019 was a big year for vinyl. Let’s take a look at some industry trends, as well as some of the year’s top-selling records.

Trends in Vinyl Sales

Until recently, vinyl sales were on the decline as newer technologies like cassettes and CDs displaced classic records. However, trends have turned around. 2019 was the 13th straight year of growth for vinyl records. In 2019, customers bought 18.84 million vinyl records, accounting for more than 15% of album sales in the United States and over a quarter of physical music sales. In fact, vinyl sales are poised to outsell CDs in 2020 — the first time in decades. However, only 2.7% of overall music sales (including streaming and single-song downloads) comes from vinyl, so records still have a way to go to become a dominant music medium once more.

The end of the year saw spikes in vinyl sales, with almost 1 million records sold in the week ending December 19, and roughly 1.25 million sold in the week ending December 26. Friends and family are realizing that the gift of vinyl will make their loved ones smile.

Top-Selling vinyl Records 

When it comes to vinyl sales, the classics still dominate. Whether older generations want to harken back to their youth with a nostalgic record or younger people want a taste of the past through a vintage medium, the result is the same. Legacy artists are selling the most vinyl records.

The Beatles won the vinyl wars with Abbey Road — an album initially released 50 years ago. In 2019, Abbey Road sold 246,000 copies, significantly beating out the second place album.

Here are the top-selling albums of 2019 in the United States:

  1. The Beatles, Abbey Road (246,000)
  2. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (176,000)
  3. Queen, Greatest Hits (139,000)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Soundtrack) (123,000)
  5. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Soundtrack) (108,000)
  6. Beach Boys, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best Of … (107,000)
  7. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon (92,000)
  8. Michael Jackson, Thriller (88,000)
  9. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of … (84,000)
  10. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (78,000)

Why Vinyl Is Making a Comeback

Vinyl’s comeback is undeniable. Why are some people starting to value vinyl over CDs and digital music?

Vinyl Teaches You About Music

If you head to the iTunes store, you’ll see a barrage of advertisements for the latest music. You’re unlikely to discover albums released decades ago. The record store is a different story. By walking into a cozy building with stacks of vinyl, you’re able to take a tour through music history, experimenting and listening to records that grab your attention. By wandering through the aisles, you’ll discover artists you would never have known existed if you found all your music online.

Records Are Tangible

Unlike your streaming service subscription, vinyl is tangible. Having physical records has many advantages. First, you’ll get the tactile experience of picking out a record and committing to an entire album. Second, you can admire your record collection and reminisce about when and where you bought each one — a welcome trip down memory lane. Finally, unlike digital music, which never becomes more valuable, rare, unique vinyl records can appreciate in value. By being a collector, you might even earn some money.

Vinyl Sounds Better

When MP3 files are compressed to make them small enough to fit on your phone, they lose audio information to save space. The compression process negatively affects the song’s sound, trading quality for convenience. On the other hand, vinyl records don’t lose quality when they’re pressed — you’re left with music exactly as the artist recorded the album.

Find the Perfect Record Player for You

If you’re ready to upgrade your music-listening experience, now is a great time. Check out Crosley’s wide selection of turntables!


Jason Lee Menard
Jason Lee Menard

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