Black Friday Was Green Friday As 1.253 Million Records Sold the W/0 11/27-12/3

Nielsen/MRC reported that this year between Friday, November 27th and Thursday, December 3rd, vinyl record sales jumped 56% compared to the same period last year. 1.253 million records sold in that week, which was the largest sales volume of any week in almost thirty years.

Harry Styles had the #1 album with 15,000 copies sold. Once Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas came in second, Queen's Greatest Hits 3rd, followed by Billie Eilish's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and in fifth place Taylor Swift's Folklore. Discogs reported 11.1 million records, new and used so far in 2020, which was an approximately 33% sales jump. Meanwhile at this year's virtual "Making Vinyl" event a statistician said that almost 50% of new record buyers were female and that almost half of all records bought were not played. Now that's downright depressing. I say play depressing, dammit!

CJB's picture

A shame. They don't know what they're missing. You cannot count on the future.

isaacrivera's picture

Not played yet...

azmoon's picture

Bogus statistic. I bought records that week. How would anyone know if I have played them or not. Dumb.

isaacrivera's picture

Like any other market statistic it's a projection from poll results.

azmoon's picture

Bogus, like any other poll.

isaacrivera's picture

Polls certainly have margins of error and can be conducted better or worse for sure. I would not say it's bogus. Basically that is how any population study is conducted and how you know most of the information that pertains to your community, state, country and the world. What is the death rate of any disease for instance or how much unemployment there is. Statistics are well understood mathematical models given accurate sampling. When I read this particular stat though, to me, it means a good chunk of the people who buy new vinyl do not play it, at least not immediately. Is this so hard to believe? Many buy to collect the object itself and wont even want to open it. Many buy it because it is available now, even if they can't play it yet. I know several people that are building collections, but do not have a turntable yet. Some buy speculatively to sell when value increases. Yet others like myself buy at a faster pace than I have time for playing. I probably have 100 new LPs acquired in the last year I have not gotten to yet, even as I have played another 100 already. So, though the number may not be exact, the point is probable.

azmoon's picture

I went to school and realize how polls are done. I still say this one is bogus. Maybe if you stopped the lecturing mode you would find more time to play your records.

isaacrivera's picture

I am not lecturing you and frankly, your education is not apparent by your comments. Nielsen is the standard of the industry when it comes to these kinds of stats and if anything, they are well known for being quite conservative. There is certainly a margin of error, but it's not fairy tales either. Neither of our "beliefs" makes any of it true or false. It is simply information. Interpret it as you wish. There is probably truth to it, that is all stats can tell you. In the end, it is not the important part of the post, right? Vinyl sales keep growing and that is good for you and me.

azmoon's picture

your arrogance is quite apparent in your comments. My interpretation, as stated previously, is that this "poll" is bogus.

isaacrivera's picture

All I have done is share information I have as an data analytics industry insider. You have missred my commentary in a defensive way. Public forums like this are for the purpose of sharing opinions and any facts you know. You know, dialogue. No need to insult, but, since you brought it up... arrogance is thinking your statements are untouchable. If your ego is so fragile you can't consider differing opinions, don't post.

azmoon's picture why you had to get pull out your podium, get on the stage, and lecture about polling. And then state that me education was not "apparent"
I believe most records are bought online - at least most people I know buy mostly online, if not 100% online. I, nor any of them, have ever been polled about playing them or not playing them. Thats why this is a bogus poll.
Of course, being a data industry "insider" (how impressive), you are not prejudiced at all. Must be quite a dry environment in that "industry".

isaacrivera's picture

was simply what the word means, to appear. I did not say you come across uneducated, which is what you interpreted... misreading defensively my statement. You stated that you are educated as if that was obvious. I merely pointed out that nobody knows that about you (or me for that matter) simply because you post something. I made assumptions that are reasonable given the context and the naive nature of your comment. Now, after our exchange I can more confidently say that you are not that smart and prefer to feel right when you have no idea what you are blabbing about. The fact that you have not been polled means just that and nothing else. That is the whole point of polling, sampling the market. I have never been polled on my TV habits, but Nielsen polls help Coca Cola make multi-million budget decisions just the same. It is childish to assault anybody's character based on total assumptions and it shows you don't have much to defend your point. Note how all of them start with "I believe". Suit yourself.

azmoon's picture

and pontificate to self-stroke your ego. This poll is totally bogus.

analogdw's picture

That trump really won too...? Smh

Jim Tavegia's picture

How do we know that 50% were not played? Were the buyers asked if they were going to play them or is this the new stock market game of buying and hold for a market upturn?

I would agree that it is kind of sad to see people not enjoy something they purchase.

Keen Observer's picture

I'd imagine the poll included questions such as "did you buy it as a Christmas gift for someone else?"
The poll probably didn't ask, but maybe should have, "are you buying to resell on ebay?"
If you knew what equipment they were going to be played on, one might say it's better they not be played. What are the sales figures for those crappy turntables that transmit to a bluetooth speaker, for example?

A decade or so ago, I knew this younger guy in his 20s who raved about how good the used records he was buying sounded. As he was a musician I was interested to know the specifics of his VPS. I found out when I went to his place with some other friends to jam. A record was playing when I arrived. He had one of those 70s era all-in-one systems (ceramic cartridge, rim-drive turntable built into the top of a receiver which also had an 8-track tape player). He had no clue about speaker placement either. One was on the floor near the unit, and the other was at about chair height along the adjacent wall (i.e. at 90 degrees from the other speaker).

Glotz's picture

The last two elections have shown that many Trump-supporting Republicans have not chosen to take part of any poll process. This led to two very miscalculated elections.

The 'quality' or nature of artists shown point to a consumer group that may not listen to records but rather like the larger physical marketing and because they are fans of the artist. They support because they are fans.

Therefore, I don't think it's sad, but a poll of group that is not indicative of normal LP buyers.

I personally bought 11 LP's which is a record RSD year for me as well.

Overall, I purchased over 100 LP's this year.

Glotz's picture

and 25 or so from in store purchases.

That being said, I WILL be buying almost exclusively from in store moving forward. I get well under retail pricing with a brick & mortar chain in my home city of Milwaukee.

I will be purchasing less online from Music Direct, simply out of economy. I still personally love Music Direct, but the pricing is better on LP's in the physical stores for myself now, less MOFI pressings. Amazon is great, but only if I miss an LP release and the local store is out. Again the local chain I go to is well under retail for every purchase and they also have a frequent buyer program that returns 50% on every 7th LP or so.

I still buy locally on those as well at usually a dollar surcharge. I picked up 3 out of print MOFI pressings this way.

I would say I have played 3/4 of all of the LP's purchased this year and that is the worst ratio ever in my life. If I buy an LP, it traditionally gets played immediately.

Zardoz's picture

I buy almost everything on line since there are no stores in my area. Barnes and Noble is the only store with vinyl in my area, and their selection is only so so at best. Occassionally I do purchase something at B&N, but everything else is from the big 3 online 99% of the time.

I do listen to everything I buy though.

Glotz's picture

The Exclusive Company has been around since the 1950's and each location has a really large selection of Rock, Jazz and Electronic racks. While they still have used, these days I stick to new as used means really dirty and trashed LP's.

I also listen to every LP I own, it just takes a bit when 100 plus are purchased within 6 months and I work remote from home. All things in due time.

ivansbacon's picture

Jeez who warped your vinyl?

It is hard take anything you say as having been formulated by someone who has something valuable to contribute to the conversation because of the unpalatable attitude dripping from your words.

You may have something valuable to say or contribute but i stopped listening, and believing what you were saying, when it became clear you were just ranting, and throwing personal insults, and not interested in an adult interchange of ideas and opinions.

You may be wrong or you may be right but i stopped believing in the validity of your statements because they started feeling like arguing for the sake of arguing and not a desire to support you assertions from a place of knowledge and contributing something valuable to the topic.

You can believe with conviction and state your case without delivering it with a poisoned arrow.

xtcfan80's picture

Love that "a statistician said that almost 50% of new record buyers were female (A Good Thing) and that almost half of all records bought were not played. I would ask what time-frame the "not played" covered. Not played that week? Or not planning on playing ever? or???? Classic example of offering "stats" with little or no detail on how the data was gathered and number of respondents polled. How the "heck" would they know how many were played??? Total crap....

xtcfan80's picture

1. What were the total number of Raymond Scott streams for 2020 so far???
2. Total # of AP readers that own a Raymond Scott record?
3. Total # of RSD release hoarders who look to soak vinyl newbies of their hard earned (or not)cash?

xtcfan80's picture

Number of people who streamed music by Kurt Vile by mistake that actually wanted music by Kurt Weill?

Tom L's picture

"Take it outside, you guys!"

mtglass's picture

is people buy most of their music online! That's a shame, there's nothing like flipping through vinyl in your local store. And helping the local economy!

TerryNYC's picture

1.253 million records sold -- wow! of course the same report states 420 Billion (digital) downloads -- yep, you vinly guys are realling killing it ;-)

TerryNYC's picture

that is .000002983 % of the total.

TerryNYC's picture

* vinyl
* really

much easier with glasses on.

DeMeNC's picture

I grew up with cassettes in the 80s and never considered vinyl because it wasn’t portable. I moved on to CDs because of their pristine sound and portability. I love the artwork in an album and liner notes as much as the music in many cases. I started buying vinyl 5-7 years ago and didn’t play any of it for a few years - I didn’t own a turntable. So if a lot of people are buying vinyl and not playing it, I get it. The record is only one part of the attraction of vinyl albums. Some of these albums and even the vinyl are art - they are beautiful to behold. Of course, they are missing out like I was, but to each their own.

Jazz listener's picture

and I also question this “statistician” at that event. Was he a presenter? What are his credentials? What survey or poll is this statement based on? How many people were asked this question, when, where and in what way? For all we know this was just some jackass shooting his mouth off. I for one do not believe for a second that 50% of purchased vinyl is never listened too. Bullcrap. And isaacrivera give it a rest already. I saw the # of comments for this post and thought wow, looks like there is a good discussion happening. Instead half the f%ing posts are from you delivering a stream of verbal diarrhea. You are the reason I wish there was a 2 comment maximum that could be enforced on these threads.

Anton D's picture

We shouldn’t be arguing about the unplayed records. Zero plays is only one less than the average audiophile for most records.


1.2 million is nice, but you will know vinyl is really ‘back’ when we no longer celebrate some sort of victory because Harry Styles sold 15,000 records. Remember that kid in high school who’d walk around at the kegger telling people exactly how many beers he’d had? We don’t need to be that guy.

Proof that vinyl is not back is how insecure we are about sales figures.

ArcAudio's picture

Just play the records. I'm glad people are buying new vinyl albums. However, much of the limited edition this or that has become standard marketing...nothing special. The real collector's items are the high end audiophile super limited releases from specialty labels. I'm not certain that 10 years from now an orange colored copy of an album is going fetch big $$$.

jamesgarvin's picture

A couple of months ago I picked up a still sealed copy of Jorma Kaukonen's Quah, released on RSD 2016. I paid less in 2020 than the retail cost in 2016. Apparently, some dork made a bad investment.

ArcAudio's picture

It seems hundreds pop up on Ebay the same day as RSD. I guess if people live in some rural place and want these purchases its worth paying extra.

Tom L's picture

I bought it new in 1974, later got the CD for the bonus tracks.
I always thought the original LP sounded terrific. Do any of the newer pressings sound appreciably better?

jamesgarvin's picture

I've not had the opportunity to compare the 2016 RSD release with prior releases. I don't have any complaints regarding the 2016 Quah release, though I will say that there are more poor pressings in vinyl I purchase today versus thirty plus years ago. I picked up Alice in Chains SAP on RSD Black Friday, and the pressing was pretty poor in spots, and the vinyl a little warped.

Back to Quah. I do have Hot Tuna releases from the same general time period as Quah, and my intuition is that I'd not pick up a current pressing just to have the current pressing.

Vinylghost's picture

"Just because women know how to buy records
doesn't mean they know how to play them."

The above quote was heard at Michael Fremer's
"Holiday" party. I'm not saying he said it,