This past week saw the highest-charting week in U.S. vinyl sales since 1991 when MRC Data began digitally tracking music sales. As reported by Billboard, the sale of nearly 2.11 million vinyl LPs was largely fueled by holiday shopping.
The week ending December 23rd marked the first time in the MRC Data era that vinyl sales surpassed two million, charting a new record for the metric. The previous record-holding week came a year ago when 1.84 million vinyl LPs were sold the week ending December 24th, 2020. Last week’s vinyl push saw a 45% increase from the previous week—1.46 million units—in the lead up to Christmas on December 25th.
The big winner in last week’s record-setting sales rush was Adele, whose new album 30 sold 59,000 copies. This makes the English singer-songwriter’s album—which dropped on November 19th—the best-selling of the year, with 293,000 copies sold in the United States.
The week ending December 23rd also marked the sixth in a row that vinyl sales exceeded one million copies. According to MRC Data, vinyl sales have topped one million just 14 times since it began tracking in 1991, with eight of those instances occurring this year alone.
Data also points to the continued torch passing from CDs back to vinyl. The week ending December 23rd marked the 23rd week of the year that vinyl sales outpaced CD sales with 2.11 million in LPs and 1.58 million in CDs. Since 1991, LPs have outsold CDs in 28 weeks: five weeks in 2020, and 23 weeks so far in 2021. There is still one week left in the 2021 tracking year, ending on December 30th.