Vinyl Fever: UK record sales hit a high note in 2023

UK vinyl sales soared in 2023, marking an 11.7% increase as music giants like Taylor Swift fuelled the format's modern renaissance.

Vinyl being pressed

2023 was a year of triumph for vinyl in the UK, confirming its vital role in today’s music scene. The ongoing debate over vinyl’s revival can be put to rest, with the latest figures from the BPI showing a significant sales increase.

Over the year, an impressive 5.9 million vinyl units were sold, marking an 11.7% jump from the previous year. This surge is attributed to a growing appetite for vinyl, coupled with the return of some major artists.

Taylor Swift’s ambitious re-recording projects sparked a buying frenzy, contributing notably to this vinyl revival. Likewise, The Rolling Stones made a grand re-entrance with their globally successful album Hackney Diamonds, further boosting vinyl appeal (read our four-star review of it here).

Adding to this vinyl bonanza were Ed Sheeran’s back-to-back album releases, culminating in a record-breaking year for vinyl. Notably, Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) led as the UK’s top-selling vinyl, closely followed by The Rolling Stones. Writing for whynow, Archie Brydon awarded Swift’s album the full five stars, saying, “as an album representing independence, bottling the confidence, insecurity and hopefully the sheer fun of young adulthood, it’s perfect.”

Intriguingly, CD sales are showing signs of stabilising after a period of decline. Is this a signal of a compact disc comeback? Only time will tell.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI chief executive, comments on this trend: “Led by vinyl, the resurgence of physical product underlines the resilience of the UK music market at a time when streaming consumption continues to hit record levels. Whilst LP sales have now been on an upward path for the past 16 years, it is encouraging to see a stabilisation in demand for CD, as well as new generations of music fans falling in love with the cassette. It is giving people more choice than ever in how they enjoy their favourite music.”

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