Vinyl Record Sales Jumped 33 Percent in 2013


Story by Anne Erickson

Sales of vinyl records increased roughly 33 percent last year

The vinyl record is trendy once again. According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl album sales in the U.S. increased roughly 33 percent last year, continuing an unlikely growth trend that really amped up beginning in 2007.

This was actually the sixth consecutive year in which vinyl albums have recorded their highest sales mark since the start of Soundscan in 1991, according to Billboard. Although the percentage vinyl makes up of the greater picture isn’t huge — 6 million units, or roughly 2 percent of all album sales in the United States — it’s still significant to see this kind of growth.

According to Nielsen Soundscan, Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is the No. 1-selling vinyl release of 2013, with 49,000 copies sold. Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires” comes in at No. 2 with 34,000 copies, and Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” lands at No. 3 with 31,000 units. Rounding out the top five are Mumford & Sons at No. 4 for “Babel” and No. 5 for their 2009 debut album, “Sigh No More,” each pushing 27,000 copies.

Meanwhile, digital music sales decreased for the first time in the U.S. last year, likely due to the rise of streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. For 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7 percent from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units, and digital album sales fell 0.1 percent to 117.6 million units from 2012’s 117.7 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. CD sales declined 14.5 percent in 2013.