Taylor Swift's 1989 Sparks Vinyl Revival in the UK: Record Sales Added to Inflation Index

Taylor Swift's 1989 album has sparked a vinyl revival in the UK, with record sales now being added to the inflation index. This shows the enduring popularity of physical music in the digital age.

By Megha Badiger
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Inflation Index

Image credits: Inflation Index

In recent years, the music industry has undergone a major shift with the rise of streaming services and the decline of physical album sales. However, there has been a surprising resurgence in the UK's vinyl market, thanks in part to global pop sensation Taylor Swift's album, 1989. This album has not only sparked a nostalgic revival of the beloved vinyl format but has also made history by being the first album to have its vinyl sales added to the UK’s official inflation index.


Vinyl Sales on the Rise: The Revival of a Classic Format

Vinyl records, a format that was once thought to be on the brink of extinction, have made a comeback in recent years. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), vinyl sales in the UK have shown a steady increase since 2007. In 2017, UK consumers spent over £87 million on vinyl records, which is a 26.8% increase from the previous year. This trend has continued in 2018, with vinyl sales increasing by over 4% in the first half of the year.

There are various reasons for this revival of vinyl records. For some, it's the tactile experience and the nostalgia that comes with holding a physical record in their hands. For others, it's the superior sound quality that comes with analog recordings. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure – vinyl records are here to stay.


Enter Taylor Swift's 1989: A Game Changer for the Music Industry

Taylor Swift has always been known for her ability to shake up the music industry with every album release. With her album 1989, she not only changed the game but also reignited the love for vinyl records. The album, which was released in 2014, sold over 11 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling album of the year.

1989 was Taylor's first full pop album, foregoing her country roots, and it was a hit with audiences. It was also her first album to be released on vinyl, and it instantly became a popular choice among fans. The vinyl version of the album featured a gatefold cover and a special collector's edition with 13 Polaroid photos, making it a must-have for any fan.


Adding Vinyl Sales to the Inflation Index: A First in the UK

In September 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added vinyl record sales to the UK's official inflation index for the first time. This move not only recognizes the growing importance of vinyl sales in the music industry but also the impact of Taylor Swift's album 1989 in pushing up its sales.

Vinyl record sales will now be included in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which is the key measure of the UK's inflation rate. This means that the purchasing power of the pound will now be measured against the cost of buying vinyl records, among other goods and services.


The impact of this addition to the inflation index is significant and reflects the growing trend of consumers opting for physical music products instead of digital ones. It also highlights the enduring appeal of vinyl records in an increasingly digital world.

The Vinyl Revival Continues: A Positive Sign for the Music Industry

The inclusion of vinyl sales in the inflation index is not only a win for the format but also for the music industry as a whole. It shows that there is still a demand for physical music products and that vinyl is a viable option for artists and record labels to release their music.


The success of Taylor Swift's vinyl sales is a testament to the enduring appeal of this classic format. And it's not just 1989 that has taken the UK by storm – a wide range of artists, from Adele to David Bowie, have also seen their vinyl sales soar in recent years.

Taylor Swift's album, 1989, has not only been a commercial success but has also made history by having its vinyl sales added to the UK's official inflation index. This achievement underlines the enduring appeal of vinyl records and their continued relevance in the music industry. With the vinyl revival showing no signs of slowing down, it's safe to say that this classic format is here to stay.

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