Notion 1: Nielsen & RIAA

Nielsen Music reported that, American consumers purchased 14.3 million vinyl sales last year.  Up 9.3% over 2016. By their report, vinyl sales have now experienced growth 12 years straight.

RIAA recently revealed vinyl sales jumped 13% in the first half of 2018 over the same period last year.  While, CD sales plummeted 41%.

Stand? Vinyl records have and will continue to grow in the near future.

Best Buy does not agree.

Notion 2: Best Buy

After reaching 50,600 on January 4th, 2017, sales dramatically decreased.  In a span of a few days, vinyl sales went from 59,500 on January 11th to 83,700 on January 14th. In November 2017, the medium experienced a large surge. The industry has known for vinyl aficionados gifting records over the holiday festivities. Still, the medium went from a sales rank of 81,500 to 57,100.

Because Best Buy is a popular shopping destination during the holidays, it makes a lot of sense that people would grab a record for their vinyl-loving loved ones.- Thinknum

Breaking down the sales rank of 22,888 individual record UPCs at the retail chain, Thinknum, a data startup, found vinyl sales have slipped for almost 2 years.

Stand? Vinyl Sales are on a decline.


Analysing Best Buy’s sales rank data, vinyls have steadily faded out.

This has many factors to consider. First of all, Best Buy tends to have a very limited catalogue consisting mostly of mainstream artists. Most record buyers prefer to shop at indie record stores, used record swaps, or in bulk on Amazon.

It’s also likely that the stores don’t store enough records. People cannot buy records if there isn’t enough inventory.

The only time the medium has jumped in sales rank is during the busy holiday season.  Best Buy usually doubles-down on its vinyl inventory, leading to higher sales.

Yet, the data startup warns analysts shouldn’t easily dismiss the retail chain’s data.

“In other words, Best Buy is a relatively thin slice of the record-buying pie, but there’s clearly a sales-rank slide at play here.”


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