Now that our 2015 sales numbers are out, there is one category that continues to befuddle even the most astute industry observers: vinyl (in a good way, of course). So if you’re one of these observers or a casual music fan doing some research on this waxy format (or both), we thought we’d offer up a few of our own observations about vinyl to help inform the numbers.
First off, to be sure, vinyl remains a niche, but it’s not insignificant. It continues to be a major bright spot for the industry. Revenues from vinyl albums were $416 million in 2015 – the last year they were that high was 1988! Think tube socks, Nintendo game systems, ‘Coming to America’, George Michael, Tiffany, and so many other priceless gems.
Another interesting factoid? For the second year in a row, vinyl revenues are higher than the revenues the industry receives from the billions of streams on ad-supported, on-demand services like YouTube, free Spotify, and others.