The vinyl boom isn’t going to explode anytime soon. In the first half of 2023, record LP sales rose 21.7% year-on-year, a strong vote of confidence for the format that has dominated album sales in recent years. This is one of the findings. brightenThe Midyear Music Report is released today by the leading data company.
That the vinyl format is experiencing some sort of growth is not in itself a surprise. After all, 2022 is the 17th consecutive year that the record has risen, so it was perhaps inevitable that 2023 would continue the streak. Still, this time last year, the tremendous growth rate over the past six months is reassuring, after Luminate’s research showed that the format was only up 1% at that time, leading some to believe the market had found its natural plateau after the quarantine buying booms. This resulted in a 108% increase in 2021. This latest surge proves that a severe pandemic is not necessary for enthusiastic interest in LPs to increase further.
The record increase is just the tip of the iceberg for those in the Luminate report, which offers everything from findings on Americans’ increased consumption of non-English music to the usual inclusion of charts listing the world’s best-selling and streamed albums. year so far.
Other formats besides LPs are of course included in the Luminate work, and for once, almost nothing is missing from the previous year—even compact discs. But there is nothing remotely in the same ballpark as flow in overall consumption is nowhere near the ceiling in growth rates.
The growth in internet streaming abroad is currently twice as high as in the US. On-demand audio and video streams are up 15% so far this year in the US, but are up 30.8% globally.
The international market with the largest streaming jump by far was Asia, with a 107% increase in on-demand audio and video streams in the first half of 2022. An increase of 57% compared to the trusted 15% of the US.
As for physical album sales in the US, including vinyl as well as CDs and cassettes, they were up 13.3%. Compact discs saw an increase of 3.8%; this is a sign of life for a format that has already been declared dead. At this point, cassettes representing a niche collector’s market (212,000 in total in the first half of the year) increased by 5.8%. Overall album sales were up 7.9%, with major record growth still offset by declining returns for paid digital downloads.
One of the findings in Luminate’s research is that direct-to-consumer sales are increasing as artists find larger fan bases willing to order products from their own websites. D2C vinyl sales rose 26%, even more than the overall LP picture. In the first half of the year, one in nine records sold came from a director-to-consumer website.
On the list of the best-selling record albums of the year so far, old (Beatles, Michael Jackson) and newer (Lana Del Rey) have some of the usual suspects. it’s no surprise Taylor Swift‘s “Midnights” is the biggest LP move so far this year with 251,000. (That’s hardly the total since the album came out with a big bang last October.) But what’s really surprising is perhaps Boygenius and Melanie. The Martinez record hits the bestseller list. Top 10 LPs so far this year:
1 Taylor Swift, “Midnights”, 251,000 copies
2 Lana Del Rey, “Did You Know There Is A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?” 132,000
3 Taylor Swift, “Folklore”, 107,000
4 Tyler, Creator, “Igor,” 104,000
5 Fleetwood Mac, “Rumors”, 103,000
6 Boygenius, “The Record”, 100,000
7 Melanie Martinez, “Portals”, 93,000
8 Michael Jackson, “Thriller”, $85,000
9 Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side of Moon”, 85,000
10 Lana Del Rey, “Born to Die”, $84,000
In contrast, the list of the 10 best-selling CDs of the year consists entirely of K-pop albums, with the exception of Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” which hit #6 with 176,000. Top of the CD list is Tomorrow x Together’s “The Name Chapter: Temptation”.
Luminate’s study examines which genres are best and worst in different formats. There are genres where physical media alone accounts for more than 10% of total consumption: jazz, where records and CDs account for 24.2% of total consumption; world music with 23.4% of physical media and rock, where 18.1% of consumption still occurs physically. Worst market for physical media? Latin music, where hard disc sales account for only 0.5% of consumption.
It may come as a surprise in the study that 40% of US listeners have music in a language other than music as at least part of their listening diet. In the US, 26% consume Spanish music well ahead of their closest competitors – both French and Japanese music attracting 8% of listeners, and Korean songs attracting 7%. It is followed by Italian, German and Arabic.
Is the music flowing the other way? so The study addresses the staggering growth of country music internationally, including in countries where English is not the first language.
The most daunting fact in the study? 112,000 new tracks released in the first half of 2023… one day. This is a significant increase over the average of 93,400 new songs released daily through 2022. Needless to say, the vast majority of the 112,000 daily additions to the song canon are released independently, with only 3.3% of the total track. releases from major distributors.
Anyone with the occasional glance at a weekly chart story won’t be surprised which artist has the honor of having both the biggest album and the biggest single of the previous year on the Billboard charts since the start of the year included in the report. That artist country superstar morgan wallenwith the blockbuster album “One Thing at a Time” and the single “Last Night”. SZA’s December album “SOS” is in second place (1,982 million units) for this year, followed by Swift’s October album “Midnights” in third place (1,876 million units).
However, when it comes to pure album sales, Swift is inevitably at the top as “Midnights” has sold 607,000 full copies in the last six months alone – 251,000 of which are on record as previously mentioned.
The report reveals a significant extension of the services that Luminate will offer in the near future. The successor to Nielsen and SoundScan, the company will soon begin offering data for 47 more countries. This is at the top of Luminate’s data services for a global market currently comprising the USA, Canada and 40 nations as a whole. The company offers demos to interested parties just before the launch of the new service.
Summing up the report, Luminate CEO Rob Jonas said: “Verified data is crucial to understanding who, where, and why shifts in cultural trends and growth in music participation in general, especially given the ever-growing global nature of the music industry and continued disruption. As revealed in Luminate’s Mid-Year Music Report released today, the story of music in the first half of 2023 is defined by stronger Superfans, who have a growing hunger to support their favorite artists, more engaged in non-British music in the US, and the Daily. More content is being uploaded, creating more opportunities and challenges. The keyword here is ‘more’, which leads to the need for a more focused and intuitive understanding of music listening habits around the world. We look forward to new international data that expands the industry’s understanding of current and future trends outside the US market in the coming quarters.”