LP / vinyl album sales in the United States from 1993 to 2015 (in million units)

The statistic above presents data on vinyl album sales in the United States from 1993 to 2015. Against the general trend, vinyl LP sales have continuously gone up for the last years. In 2011, 3.9 million vinyl LPs were sold in the United States.

LP/vinyl sales - additional information

Vinyl records, or LPs (short for Long Play), dominated the music recording industry for most of the twentieth century, holding its own against cassette tapes between the 1970s and 1990s, but sales of the compact disc (or CD), introduced in 1983, outpaced LP sales by the end of the 1980s. LPs have been enjoying a comeback in recent years, and the vinyl record is the only format of music available that has recorded positive sales growth in each of the past four years. This is impressive, especially because the overall number of albums sold in all formats has been decreasing since at least 2007. This is not because music piracy is replacing music purchasing—in fact, a recent study shows that those individuals who engage in pirating have more legally purchased music in their collections than those who do not use P2P sites to share music.

The LP market, while growing, is still a niche market. The number of vinyl records shipped in 2013 totals only five percent of the number of CDs, partially due to the market for vinyl consisting mainly of DJs, collectors, and audiophiles. DJs prefer the LP to most other formats due to its versatility and the ability to directly manipulate the record. Many audiophiles and collectors argue that the sound quality of the vinyl record is better than that of digitally recorded music, and new releases of older albums, such as those by the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, are particularly popular. Modern artists from Mumford & Sons to Justin Timberlake also utilize the LP format. Daft Punk’s 2013 Grammy Award-winning album “Random Access Memories” sold almost 50 thousand copies on vinyl.

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