Study finds 50 per cent of vinyl buyers in US don’t have a record player

It appears that "superfans" with a completist mindset are driving the trend

Only 50 per cent of vinyl buyers in the US own a record player, a new study has found.

According to Luminate, which recently published its Top Entertainment Trends for 2023 report, “50 per cent of consumers who have bought vinyl in the past 12 months own a record player, compared to 15per cent per cent among music listeners overall” [via Music Business Worldwide].

Luminate appears to have credited those statistics largely to “superfans” whom it defines as “music listeners who spend above average (median) time AND money on music, actively discover new music, participate in music-related activities on social media, and plan on attending a live music event in the next 12 months”.


The majority of music revenue (84 per cent in 2022) still comes from streaming services.

The popularity of vinyl continues to grow. CREDIT: Trevor Chriss / Alamy Stock Photo

That suggests that many of these “superfans” buy vinyl as part of merch – not necessarily listening to it.

The news follows vinyl outselling CD in the UK for first time in 35 years, according to figures released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) in January.

Overall music sales increased by three per cent in 2022 to almost £2billion, which is the highest figure since 2003 and nearly double the level of their low point in 2013.

According to the published figures, physical sales fell slightly by 3.8 per cent to £280.4million, but levelled out as the vinyl format showed sustained growth while CD declined.


Vinyl album sales grew 11 per cent to £150.5million, while CD album sales in contrast fell 17.4 per cent to £124million, the first time that vinyl has outsold CD by value since 1987.

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