Record Store Year: In 2021 Vinyl Albums Outsold CDs For The First Time In 30 Years
Vinyl has outsold CDs for the first time in 30 years, according to MRC Data and Billboard. That means vinyl is now the leading format for all album purchases in the U.S.
According to Billboard, in 2021 vinyl albums made up 38.3 percent of all album sales (including physical and digital) in the U.S., and 50.5 percent of all physical albums sold, aka 41.72 million out of 82.79 million. Also in 2021, 41.72 million vinyl albums were sold in the U.S., up 51.4% from 27.55 million in 2020.
Unsurprisingly, of the 41.72 million total vinyl album sales in 2021, 19.78 million came from the indie market, with a lot of sales coming from Record Store Day promotions. Meanwhile, Adele’s 30 was the no. 1 vinyl seller at 318,000 copies, followed by Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour at 268,000 copies. Taylor Swift also won the vinyl game in 2021, with Red (Taylor’s Version), Folklore, and Evermore coming in at no. 3, no. 9, and no. 6, respectively.
Check out the full report here.