ABBA have recently made the news by having the fastest-selling vinyl album this century with their new album ‘Voyage’.
The story in Music Week has also appeared in many of the major newspapers and online media outlets.
This is a fantastic feat for a band who has been away for 40 years, but is it the full story? Let us look at some of the other stats.
This is from Music Week
“Consumption of Voyage is heavily skewed to physical sales, which make up 89.53% of its total. Its vinyl sales of 29,891 copies surpassed the previous 21st century record of 24,478 copies for Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino in May 2018. Voyage also sold 148,471 copies on CD, and 4,205 copies on cassette” (Music Week – Friday 12th November 2021)
So almost 30,000 copies on vinyl from over 200,000 total sales for the albums first week of release. This achievement is great news, but with nearly 90% of sales being physical copies rather than streaming, those vinyl sales are not the whole story.
The main reason Voyage sold more copies than the entire Top 30 was in no small part because CD sales were over 148,000 of the overall total! This is also a huge achievement and should have been part of the main story. We are used to seeing positive stories about vinyl sales but CDs only seem to attract negative media attention. This was very much a positive CD story.
“I have nothing against vinyl (I buy vinyl and CDs) but this is like someone winning a race by a large margin and the news story about the guy that came in fourth” Paul – Super Deluxe Edition.
At Now Spinning Magazine, we celebrate music in all its physical forms. I personally also buy vinyl and CDs, and almost all of our readers and subscribers do the same.
This post is not about CDs being a better format than vinyl. Instead, it is about realising that the CD format still has a lot of fans and can make a real difference to real physical music sales.
I hope many record labels, artists and retail outlets are taking note of this story and looking beyond the initial headline.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine