According to data firm Luminate, vinyl record sales in the United States surpassed 2 million in the week preceding Christmas (ending 12/21).

Sales of the format continue to expand, but proposed changes to how Luminate measures sales in 2024 have some vinyl groups requesting data from the source.

According to Billboard, vinyl sales this week were the third-highest in the contemporary era since Luminate began tracking sales statistics in 1991. Holiday shopping and promotions are likely factors in the massive sales week, with Taylor Swift’s 1989 selling the most copies (57,000). Swift’s re-release of her albums vaulted her into the top four best-selling vinyl positions. Taylor Swift sold 194,000 vinyl albums in total, accounting for 9.5% of all vinyl albums sold in the United States that week.

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Luminate plans to deliver direct report sales from indie record stores rather than the weighted average it now provides. The Vinyl Alliance and the Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association (VRMA) have both spoken out against the change.

“With less than 5% of independent physical retailers currently reporting directly to Luminate, the data collected will be a grossly inaccurate representation of the sales of physical products,” the VRMA told Digital Music News earlier this month.

READ MROE: For The First Time Since 1987, Vinyl Outsells CDs

Since Luminate intends to implement its data reporting modifications on December 29, VRMA claims it is actively seeking a third-party reporting source to “collect and report quarterly data at the record-pressing plant level to ensure we have a counter-balance to Luminate’s reporting.” It’s unknown who that third-party partner is, but it’ll be interesting to compare the data to what Luminate provides once these modifications take effect.

Luminate claims to have 93.3% reporting coverage for sales data, however industry sources say this is an exaggeration. According to Forbes, which spoke with a major label source, approximately 600 indie retailers sell considerable volumes of albums, with barely 12% reporting data to Luminate. The VRMA predicts that the modifications will have a 40% impact on vinyl reporting.


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