vinyl record store shop

Vinyl is even more popular than we thought

The vinyl resurgence is even bigger than we all originally thought thanks to records sales that aren’t regularly reported—until now.

September 21, 2018
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Vinyl has had quite the resurgence over the past decade or so, and it appears that the comeback is more than just a trend.

While it was clear vinyl sales have spiked in recent years, it appears to be more than we all realized. Used records are purchased just as much (if not more than) new ones, but those figures weren’t being accounted for until now.

Read more: Spotify starts letting indie artists upload music directly

According to Forbes, new data shows the vinyl market is at least double what the original figures show.

The music industry doesn’t actively count used sales in a world where streaming is the most prevalent preferred music consumption as the former’s sales don’t benefit labels, artists or songwriters.

Discogs Marketplace and eBay are two of the largest used record sellers online, and the latter is currently hosting their inaugural Vinyl Obsession Week. Both retail sites provided data to Forbes, allowing for the realization of the sales’ impact.

“Given the size of the overall market, I am always shocked that these numbers are ignored when reporting sales,”  Discogs’ SVP Ron Rich tells Forbes.

Both sites list millions of used records—Discogs sits more than 5.7 million and eBay at more than 2.3 million. Presumed to be the third largest used vinyl retailer, Amazon lists about 900,000 units.

Data from Discogs and eBay show upwards of 6 million used vinyl records were sold in 2017 while the RIAA shows 16 million new units were sold.

While new vinyl still dominates, Discogs’ data shows their sales are rapidly growing at roughly the same rate, dominating eBay because of the former’s detailed listing requirements. Discogs sellers must submit metadata such as country of release, artist credits, conditions of both the disc and sleeve and more.

While Discogs, eBay and Amazon all show there is a boom in used sales, there is no data keeping track of brick and mortar record shops. With more than 2,000 local record stores in addition to flea markets and garage sales, the number is likely as high as online, according to Forbes. The site also suggests that the data combined is as high as the 16 million in new vinyl sales.

Do you prefer new or used vinyl? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Rachel Campbell