National Album Day is celebrating the format at a time where demand for albums remain strong, underlining the cultural and commercial significance and its enduring appeal at the heart of British recorded music.
Earlier this year the music sector reported that 143 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed, purchased or downloaded in the UK in 2018 – worth approximately £1.3 billion at retail, and representing a near 6 per cent rise on the year before. As part of this, 4.2 million vinyl LPs were sold – a 2000 per cent rise since the format’s low point in 2007, and the 11th year of consecutive growth.
Further evidence of the format’s continuing relevance is provided by an ERA tracking study5 in May 2018, which showed that nearly 60 per cent of respondents had listened to an album in full in the month prior to the online survey. And whilst albums are most often associated with older music consumers, the research suggested that it is actually younger fans who are more likely to have listened to an album recently: over half (55%) of those polled aged 25 or below said they had listened to an album in the previous week, compared with 45 per cent of 45-54 year-olds and just 33 per cent of those aged 55 or above. The research also challenged the notion that albums are a male preserve – with nearly four in ten (38%) female consumers having listened to an album in the week prior to the study, compared with 45 per cent of male respondents.