In the first half of 2018, vinyl album sales grew 19.2 percent in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music — as compared to the first six months of 2017.
In total, for the tracking period of Dec. 29, 2017 through June 28, 2018, there were 7.6 million vinyl albums sold; up from 6.4 million in the comparable frame a year ago (Dec. 30, 2016 through June 29, 2017).
Notably, the vinyl format's 7.6 million albums sold in 2018, so far, represent 11.2 percent of all albums sold (68 million) and 18.7 percent of all physical albums sold (CD, vinyl, cassette, etc.; 40.6 million).
In the full year of 2017, vinyl album sales hit another Nielsen Music-era record high, as the format sold 14.32 million copies (up 9 percent compared to 2016’s then-record haul of 13.1 million). 2017 marked the 12th straight year of growth for vinyl album sales. (Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.)
The top selling vinyl album for the first half of 2018 is Jack White’s latest studio effort, Boarding House Reach, which has sold 37,000 copies on vinyl.
Vinyl sales in 2018 have also been aided by the usual surge of sales generated by the annual Record Store Day festivities. The 11th annual indie music store holiday, staged on April 21, helped yield a whopping 733,000 vinyl albums sold in the week ending April 26 — a record for Record Store Day week, and the third-largest weekly sum for vinyl albums since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.
2018’s Mid-Year Top 10 Selling Vinyl Albums
1. Jack White, Boarding House Reach (37,000)
2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN. (30,000)
3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (28,000)
4. Michael Jackson, Thriller (28,000)
5. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (28,000)
6. Panic! at the Disco, Pray for the Wicked (26,000)
7. Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods (26,000)
8. Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) (25,000)
9. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (25,000)
10. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (23,000)
Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period of Dec. 29, 2017 – June 28, 2018.