The vinyl market is at it’s biggest for years with thousands more pining for the retro format’s listening pleasure each month, but it’s ‘superfans’ making it thrive.
A new study has revealed that nearly 3 quarters of all vinyl records sold in the last year comes from a select group of ‘superfans’. The study, made by the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association, reveals that as vinyl booms again it’s driven largely by a small number of people who buy lots of records.
ERA define a ‘superfan’ as someone who spends more than £400 on that format. Their research found that 72% of vinyl record sales were made by 157,000 superfans which equates to roughly £62.9 million of Vinyl’s total revenue of £87.7 million in the UK for 2017. Based on an average of £20.31 per vinyl LP in the UK these superfans are buying 19.7 records a year.
The findings come from ERA’s quarterly tracking study which measures the consumption of entertainment from over 2,200 adults in the UK. The ERA asked participants how much they spend on different entertainment formats including Vinyl LPs, Blu-Rays, video games, CDs, and DVDs. Vinyl topped the list when it comes to the number of superfans followed shortly by Blu-Ray’s which have a 61% superfan market percentage.
The ERA’s CEO, Kim Bayley said: “Music, video, and games may reach virtually the entire population, but it is these £400-a-year Superfans who are 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.”
As physical sales reduce year-on-year CDs certainly don’t see the same level of superfandom as vinyl records do. 292,000 superfans made up 32% of the total market for CD sales in 2017 though in fairness using an average UK CD price of £8.27 you would need to purchase 48.4 CDs or more to be a superfan – which is much more music than 20 Vinyl LPs.