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U.K. Sees Biggest Vinyl Sales Week in 30 Years Thanks to Taylor Swift and Record Store Day

Who says vinyl is dead?

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Source: MEGA

The U.K. just saw its biggest vinyl sales week in 30 years.

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Thanks to the avenging twin fists of musical justice, aka Taylor Swift and Record Store Day, the U.K. just saw its biggest vinyl sales week in at least 30 years.

Data from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) shows that 269,134 vinyl albums and 37,656 vinyl singles were sold in chart week 17, adding up to a total of 306,791 records — the highest since since the current Official Charts Company began tracking sales in 1994.

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Source: MEGA

269,134 vinyl albums and 37,656 vinyl singles were sold in chart week 17.

Taylor Swift's new album The Tortured Poets Department, currently sitting pretty atop the U.K. albums chart, came out on April 19 and was followed a day later by Record Store Day on April 20.

Vinyl copies of TTPD reportedly accounted for 24.7% of the week's record sales numbers, while exclusive RSD vinyl made up an estimated 37.2% of the market.

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Source: Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift's new album 'The Tortured Poets Department' came out on April 19.

"Indie record shops were first to realise that the growth of streaming would paradoxically provide an opportunity for the most physical of physical formats, and vinyl has sat at the heart of Record Store Day’s celebration of indie record shop culture since 2008," said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.

"Taylor Swift has long been a supporter of indie record stores and served as Record Store Day’s global ambassador in 2022,” she added. "Her support has undoubtedly helped drive even more younger fans to indie record shops, helping sustain the stores which are one of the most vibrant elements of the music ecosystem."

Drew Hill, deputy CEO of Utopia Music, which oversees the UK's largest distributors of physical music, enthused, "Even considering the extra push from Record Store Day and Taylor Swift, the idea that vinyl can rack up a week’s worth of pre-digital era sales shows physical music can stand tall alongside streaming. By continuing to breathe new life into record retailers up and down the country, music fans’ long abiding love affair with the format is placing it back at the heart of release campaigns from world-leading superstars."

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Source: MEGA

Black Sabbath visiting an Our Price shop in Manchester to sign albums and posters in 1990.

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2023 marked the 16th consecutive year of growth in demand for vinyl, and four of the format's top 10 sales weeks in the past 30 years have come in the past 12 months.

In March, the ERA noted that the number of independent record store in the UK is higher today than it has been at any point in the past decade.

"Whilst supermarkets and other large retailers have gradually shifted focus from physical music, independent record stores have picked up the ball and ran with it, adapting to meet the market gap and capitalizing on growing fan demand," Hill said at the time.

“Record stores provide a unique space for music lovers to listen, collect and engage with their favorite artists in a way that taps into superfandom, and co-exists alongside digital streaming. It remains crucial that we continue to provide unbeatable service to thriving record retailers to maximise potential and ensure their bright future.”

HMV reopened its flagship store on London's Oxford Street last year, and the fondly remembered music retailer Our Store just relaunched after 20 years.

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