Vinyl sales crossed the milestone of four million units in 2018, but just how many of those copies are being picked up by 'superfans'?
New findings from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) reveal that 72% of vinyl records are being purchased by a select group of music lovers, of whom spend on average of £400 a year on the music format.
The new data from ERA's quarterly study lists the average price of a vinyl record at £20.31, with dedicated collectors purchasing at least 19 LPs per year.
ERA's report measured the entertainment consumption behaviour of more than 2,200 UK adults.
With records being released in a variety of ways now such as different coloured pressings, alternate sleeves and as part of assorted signed bundles, collectability is driving this new wave of music consumption. Vinyl sales reached 4.1 million in 2017, the highest level since 1991. Revenues made from vinyl sales increased 24% year-on-year in 2017.
While it is evident that the industry is flourishing not just down to superfans, ERA CEO Kim Bayley describes avid record fans as "the backbone of the market":
"Superfans are the connoisseurs of entertainment. They are passionate about music or film or games and tend to favour the more sophisticated higher-value formats. It is these £400-a-year Superfans who are the backbone of the market."
Initiatives such as Record Store Day and the return of Record Tokens to the high street are also driving the rebirth of the format, while even supermarkets such as Sainsbury's are getting in on the action by releasing their own exclusive 12" products.
ERA's report also revealed that the Blu-ray video format also has a 'superfan' following, accounting for 62% of total sales. The format is another driven by collectability with the rise in steelbooks.