Spinning Steel: Heavy Metal Fans Embrace Vinyl Records

By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
May 3, 2023
— 2 min read
By Jaime Marconette
, Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
Sr. Director Music Insights & Industry Relations
May 3, 2023
— 2 min read
Heavy metal fans are +50% more likely to say they intend to purchase vinyl in the next 12 months *when compared to the average US consumer

When Metallica released 72 Seasons, their first album of new material since 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, the legendary metal band powered to #2 on the Billboard 200 (week ending 4/20/23) while amassing the most activity for a rock album in 3.5 years. 72 Seasons netted 145k total units in US activity during its first week with a 73.3% physical share made up of CD and vinyl sales.

A pie chart with the title 'Metallica - 72 Seasons Consumption Mix' and the sub-heading '145k Total US Activity in Release Week (Week Ending 4/20/23' is shown. The following data is represented in the chart: 3.4% Cassettes; 18.7% Digital Albums; 40.6% CD; 7.9% Streaming Equivalents; 29.3% Vinyl

Metallica has long-been a huge supporter of vinyl and made news last month in March when they purchased their own vinyl pressing plant, Furnace Record Pressing, in Virginia. This seems fitting given the band was actually the very first Record Store Day ambassador in 2008 and was the sixth-best selling US vinyl artist of 2022 with 387k units. So how does 72 Seasons compare to its predecessor, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, in first week sales? 72 Seasons showed more than a 250% increase as it clocked in with 42.5k total units sold the week of release.

A vertical bar graph with the title 'Release Week US Vinyl Sales' is shown. The data represented in the graph is as follows: 'Hardwired...To Self-Destruct' - just over 10,000~; '72 Seasons' - just over 40,000~

Luminate’s Research data shows that heavy metal fans are +50% more likely to have purchased vinyl in the last 12 months, and are +50% more likely to say they intend to purchase vinyl in the next 12 months when compared to the average US consumer. Given that these metal fans are also +28% more likely to cite sound quality as an important factor when making a music purchase, owning their own pressing plant gives Metallica more control over the process and quality of their product while also setting the band up for the future as vinyl continues its ascent.

Stay tuned for more from Luminate in coming weeks as we detail the performance of Record Store Day 2023.

Source:

Luminate Research US Music 360

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By Noah Elwell
February 20, 2024
— 3 min read

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