Swifties dominated vinyl record sales in 2022

Taylor Swift fans have united to crown the pop star as the queen of 2022’s vinyl record sales, with Harry Styles and Olivia Rodrigo following behind. 

An end-of-year report on the vinyl sales of 2022 has been dominated by Taylor Swift, with the pop star’s music accounting for one out of every 25 records sold. The report was published by Billboard earlier this week, and placed Swift ahead of Harry Styles and Olivia Rodrigo in terms of vinyl unit sales. 

Much of Swift’s success was attributed to the sale of her 2022 album Midnights, which sold some 945,000 units in the US. The report also included the sale of her earlier 2020 project folklore, which contributed to the singer’s aggregation of almost 2million vinyl sales over the course of her career. Styles came in at a distant second, with his third album Harry’s House reaping 480,000 sold copies last year. 

Taylor Swift on red carpet
Photo: Evan Agostini

Rodrigo, meanwhile, earned a respectable third place, a feat doubly impressive given that all of her sales were attributed to her debut album Sour, which brought in 263,000 units. The fourth and fifth spots on the list veered into hip-hop, with Tyler, The Creator’s last two albums IGOR and Call Me If You Get Lost accounting for 211,000 and 172,000 unit sales respetively. 

Ahead of the rapper in fourth place was Kendrick Lamar, but not for the album you might expect. While the luminary released his much-lauded fifth album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers last year, it was the ten-year anniversary of his sophomore record that accounted for the most vinyl sales. According to Billboard, Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City sold 254,000 copies, a decade after its original release in 2012. 

Kendrick Lamar on stage
Credit: Getty

Aside from specific artists, the report also reveals that vinyl records outsold CDs for the second consecutive year. The declining popularity of the latter format was partially responsible for the closure of Australia’s Sanity stores late last year, but the trend isn’t true of every retro format. In 2022, the sale of albums on cassettes grew by 28% — another increase following their spike in 2016 —with the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack the most-bought album on tape.