BBC backs National Album Day

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have unveiled plans for the first ever National Album Day. The event, which takes place on 13 October, will celebrate “the UK’s love of the album”.

National Album Day is supported by BBC Music, who will broadcast special programmes across all its music stations, including BBC Radio 3. It will also broadcast music documentaries on iPlayer and BBC Four.

The 12” 33rpm vinyl album format was first launched 70 years ago in 1948 by Columbia records with a recording of Mendelsohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. Since then, an estimated five billion albums have been sold in the UK alone.

BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “It is fitting that, in this 70th anniversary year, we should look to create a special moment that celebrates the UK’s love of the album and the huge role it plays at the heart of our popular culture.”

As for today, in 2017 135 million albums were purchased, downloaded or streamed in the UK. That represents a 9.5% increase on the previous year, and also included a surprising 4.1 million sales of vinyl.

“BBC Music is proud to support the first National Album Day,” remarked James Stirling, head of content commissioning at BBC. “The role of the album has evolved over 70 years – through vinyl and beautiful artwork to current streaming consumption – yet the story behind a great album remains an important part of British culture.”

A full schedule of events can be found online.