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 from 2009 to 2017. 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 2017 is significantly less than 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. Ed Sheeran's album ''Divide" sold a total of 62 thousand units on vinyl in 2017.