The Beatles led by far at the Number One spot amongst the Top 10 artists driving vinyl (LP records) sales in the US in 2018. At Number 2, Pink Floyd was a bit ahead of the rest of pack, which were neck to neck with one another. David Bowie and Panic! At The Disco were at Numbers 3 and 4 respectively, with Metallica and Queen bringing up the rear at Numbers 9 and 10
April 13 was Record Store Day. Conceived in 2007 to “to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of similar stores internationally”, Record Store Day is met with special promotions in many locations, making it the perfect day to go digging in the crates for some rare LPs.
Interestingly, writes data journalist Felix Richter on Statista.com, the recent resurgence of vinyl in the United States has been largely led by artists from the LP era. As the following chart, based on Nielsen data, shows, all but one of the ten best vinyl-selling acts in the U.S. in 2018 were big before the guy who invented Spotify was even conceived.
The Beatles sold 321,000 vinyl albums in the U.S. last year, with Abbey Road being their best-selling album with 76,000 units sold. Pink Floyd and David Bowie round off the top 3 vinyl-selling artists of last year ahead of Panic! At the Disco, the only contemporary band in the top 10.
CD Sales down by 94%, lowest since 1986
Amid all the talk of music streaming and the renaissance of vinyl, the continued plummeting of CD sales hasn’t been getting a lot of attention in recent years. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), CD album sales in the United States have dropped by 94 percent since peaking in 2000 and are currently at their lowest level since 1986, when Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album topped the Billboard charts.
Having been hit by the rise of filesharing and MP3 players in the early 2000s, CD sales nearly halved between 2000 and 2007, which is when smartphones and the first music streaming services emerged to put the final nail in the compact disc’s little round coffin.