The Beatles, Pink Floyd and David Bowie helped vinyl sales grow 15 percent in 2018

music news 21/01/2019

Many classic rock artists helped boost vinyl sales by 15% during 2018 according to Nielsen Music, including the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Davie Bowie. The traditional format set more records in 2018 than any other year since the organisation tracking began back in 1991.

The biggest-selling vinyl was a new one - the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' soundtrack - but Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles and Prince came next in the top 10. 

The best-selling artist on vinyl, with three albums all in the Top 15 was of course the Beatles, with Abbey Road, the White Album and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They had a total of 321,000 sales, followed by Pink Floyd, Bowie, modern band Panic! at the Disco and Fleetwood Mac. You can see the full list below. 

Nielsen's data showed that 16.8 million vinyl albums were sold throughout 2018, which was an increase of 14.6%, the highest figure of the era and the 13th consecutive year of growth. Vinyl accounted for 11.9% of all album sales, which totaled 141 million - this was a 6.5% increase in representation. Sales of vinyl also represented 19.1% of all physical album sales, up 14%. 

The percentage increases for vinyl were no doubt partly due to the falling physical sales numbers in general - because streaming and digital downloading is so popular these days. Physical album sales totaled 88 million in 2018, which was down 15.8%, while CDs totaled 70.7 million, down 20.9%.

Digital album sales did also drop though by 20.7% down to 53.4 million. 

Here are the top 10 vinyl albums and best-selling artists for 2018:

Top 10 Selling Vinyl Albums of 2018
1. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (84,000)
2. Michael Jackson, Thriller (84,000)
3. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (77,000)
4. The Beatles, Abbey Road (76,000)
5. Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (71,000)
6. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon (67,000)
7. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of … (61,000)
8. Queen, Greatest Hits (60,000)
9. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (59,000)
10. Panic! at the Disco, Pray for the Wicked (59,000)

Best-Selling Artists on Vinyl of 2018
1. The Beatles (321,000)
2. Pink Floyd (177,000)
3. David Bowie (150,000)
4. Pani! At the Disco (148,000)
5. Fleetwood Mac (139,000)
6. Led Zeppelin (138,000)
7. Michael Jackson (131,000)
8. Jimi Hendrix (119,000)
9. Metallica (116,000)
10. Queen (113,000)