09.14.20 - Vinyl records are no longer a nostalgic relic of the past. According to new data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl sales are outpacing CD sales in the United States for the first time in over 30 years. Sales of vinyl records accounted for about $230 million of all music sales in the first half of this year, compared to CDs which brought in just under $130 million.
Vinyl records were once commonplace in households throughout the world before other modes, like cassette tapes and CDs, became the popular way to listen to music. But since 2005, vinyl sales have been making a serious resurgence, with sales rising every year since then. According to the RIAA, vinyl revenue is up 4% in 2020, CD revenue has dropped 48% as it has quickly become outdated and doesn’t hold the same nostalgia of vinyl.
However, the boost in vinyl interest hasn't been enough to keep physical sales of music from dropping significantly, as expected. Physical sales dropped 23% to $376 million, in the first half of the year as the pandemic continues to stall music industry norms and most people continue to use more practical streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify to listen to their music. Concerts and visits to music stores have all but disappeared as of late.
Sales in the music industry have grown overall 5.6%, mainly driven by streaming, for a total of $5.7 billion during the first six months of this year. The RIAA found that revenue from ad-supported streaming and paid streaming have grown 12% to $4.8 billion in the first six months of 2020.