Is Streaming Increasing Vinyl Sales?

Is Streaming Increasing Vinyl Sales?According to a new ICM poll it is…

The poll, shared exclusively with the BBC states that music streaming sites have helped to drive vinyl sales. The survey indicates that nearly half of the customers that purchased vinyl had already listened to the album or EP first via a music streaming service.

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But how?

Now there are so many ways for people to listen to music for free. Music fans are using platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud and ad-supported tiers on services like Spotify to sample music before they decide if they want to invest in a physical purchase or not. It is the user of a free music service that the behaviour of purchasing vinyl is most common among, suggesting that free music has the ability to ‘drive real-world sales’.

Jake Bugg, an English musician, singer and songwriter says, “I stream music because it’s such a handy tool that, if somebody mentions a record, you can get it up straight there on your phone. And if I really like it, I will go out and buy the record. I like vinyl…”

The research from the poll proposes that people are using free streaming platforms to simply scope out what music they are willing to spend money on, and once the users have decided what music they like, they go out and purchase a physical copy in the form of vinyl.

Correlation with the uprise of streaming supports the poll’s findings…

Streaming services like YouTube, Soundcloud, and Spotify launched in 2005, 2007 and 2008 respectively, which is around the same time that the resurgence of vinyl begun.


The above graph displays a continuous increase in vinyl album sales between 2007 and 2013 when it reached over 6 million units. Since then vinyl sales have continued to grow reaching over 9 million in 2014 and over 11 million in 2015.

Prior to 2007, vinyl album sales were up and down with no consistency or trend.


Music Streaming is constantly under fire, with artists claiming that it de-values music and drives down album sales. But, according to this new poll streaming is having the opposite effect.

(Image by Ville Säävuori, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)

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