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Vinyl overtakes Playstation games, DVDs and CDs as UK’s second best-selling physical entertainment format

By | Published on Thursday 8 September 2022


Not only are vinyl sales in the UK now comfortably out-performing CD sales, but the sale of vinyl albums is bringing in more revenue than the sale of physical format Playstation 4 and 5 games combined, according to new figures from the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association.

In terms of physical entertainment formats, only Nintendo Switch games have brought in more money than vinyl so far this year. But the revenues generated by Nintendo Switch games are down 12.5% year-on-year while vinyl sales are up 12.2%. So it’s all to play for! Although people will need to play more records than games if we want vinyl to take the number one position.

Of course, ERA usually groups all console games together in its figures – Switch and Playstation games not really being different entertainment formats – so perhaps the race isn’t quite as exciting as all this suggests. Whatever – vinyl! Woo!

”Vinyl’s rise and rise seems unstoppable”, says ERA CEO Kim Bayley. “For a 74 year old analogue format to eclipse the digital-age technology of games platforms is quite extraordinary. Ten years into its long climb back to favour, the vinyl revival is most definitely here to stay”.

According to ERA, vinyl has brought in £80.9 million so far this year, up from £72.1 million at the same point last year. Playstation 4 and 5 games were also up, but only slightly to £79.6 million from £74.7 million. Nintendo Switch games, meanwhile, saw revenues fall to £88.7 million, compared to £101.3 million for the first 35 weeks of 2021.

In terms of vinyl out-performing CDs, sales of the latter have brought in £68.9 million so far this year, 8.1% less than this time last year, when CD revenues were £74.9 million. It means that vinyl albums have brought in £12 million more in revenue in the UK so far this year than CD albums.

CDs are out-performing physical video formats though. DVD sales – which slightly outperformed CDs for 2021 as a whole – are down 19.9% so far this year, from £83.4 million at this point last to £66.8 million. Though Blu-ray sales are up, from £47.4 million this time last year to £52.1 million for the first 35 weeks of 2022.

Let’s get back to music though, and if you’re wondering where in the UK vinyl is most popular – which you undoubtedly are – it’s been revealed that the city of Glasgow has the most avid vinyl collectors, or at least that’s the conclusion of a study into the things people like collecting carried out by The Royal Mint.

In fact, it reckons that 32% of the UK’s vinyl collectors live in Glasgow, beating the whole of North East England, which collectively has 25%. We don’t really know what that actually means, but well done to all you vinyl collecting Glaswegians.

What are people collecting the most of in other cities and regions? Well, Southampton goes for coins, in London it’s trainers, and in the West Midlands as a whole it’s wine. Glasgow also takes the crown for the most collectors of rare books. Glasgow is so very sophisticated.

The ERA figures are discussed further on this episode of our Setlist podcast