You’ve likely read one of the many articles over the last few months on the rude health of vinyl sales. Amazon recently reported 100% growth in vinyl sales year-on-year, and according to Nielsen SoundScan vinyl sales across the board were up 33.5% in the first half of this year compared to 2012, itself a year in which vinyl sales rose for the fifth time in succession and accounted for 2.3% of all physical album sales.
Growth aside, revenue from vinyl sales is still relatively small compared to overall sales. Which is why vinyl should be used strategically and offered in the right way (and place). For instance, SoundScan reported 67% of all vinyl albums last year were purchased from independent record stores. Direct-to-fan offers is another one of those key spots, so it makes sense that the fans who wind up on your website to buy or preorder your music will be some of your biggest fans who want more than just a regular CD or download. At Topspin, we’re seeing both artists and fans reaping the benefits.
We took a look at the 10 biggest Topspin campaigns so far in 2013 where vinyl was an option—including Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros and Pretty Lights—and found this pattern is reflected in the very healthy amount of vinyl that artists are selling direct-to-fan. Looking purely at vinyl and CD sales on average across 10 campaigns, artists were selling vinyl and CDs in an impressive 38/62 split, or just over one LP for every two CDs sold. That’s way above that 2.3% average for physical album sales. Considering that a vinyl LP is often around twice the price of a CD, that’s a whole lot of extra revenue going straight into artists’ pockets. See the chart below:
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