Tables have turned: Vinyl records outsell CDs for 1st time since 1987

Tables have turned: Vinyl records outsell CDs for 1st time since 1987


Global News

Posted March 14, 2023 11:28 am

Updated March 14, 2023 11:41 am

Tech Talk: Twitter may have a rival & vinyl record sales take-off

WATCH: Social media giant Meta is considering giving Twitter a run for its money, and vinyl records are outselling CDs for the first time in 35 years.

Leave a comment

Share this item via WhatsApp

See more sharing options


Share this item via WhatsApp


Share this item on Flipboard


Share this item on LinkedIn


Share this item on Reddit


Copy article link

Copy link

Descrease article font size

Increase article font size

Everything comes back into style eventually. Usually, this wisdom applies more to fashion trends than technology, but the recent popularity of vinyl records proves that statement to be true.

Vinyl sales have been steadily increasing for 16 years, well after modern innovations like compact discs (CDs) and MP3s made old-fashioned records seemingly obsolete. While hipsters and dads may have driven the early resurgence of vinyl, it’s clear now that the phenomenon is mainstream.

Read more:

Is the vinyl boom creating a new generation of audiophiles?

Vinyl record sales in the U.S. officially outsold CDs in 2022, marking the first time vinyl has topped physical music sales since 1987, according to an annual revenue report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Just over 41 million vinyl records were sold in America last year, the report found, compared to only 33 million CDs.

Story continues below advertisement

Vinyl sales accounted for about 71 per cent of physical format revenues in 2022, with records bringing in about US$1.2 billion (just over $1.6 billion), meanwhile, CD sales amounted to a paltry US$483 million ($660 million).

While vinyl record sales are up 17 per cent from 2021, CD sales have experienced an almost equivalent decline, falling 18 per cent from last year.

Vinyl records stage a comeback

The RIAA found that music revenue as a whole is growing steadily in the U.S., and reached a record high of US$15.9 billion ($21.7 billion) in 2022. That growth was largely driven by music streaming, but it’s hard to ignore the rise in physical sales.

While artists can earn less than a penny per stream on popular services like Spotify and Apple Music, their profits are considerably higher for physical sales when vinyl records carry price points of $40 or more.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:

Topless fan crashes Junos broadcast as Weeknd wins 5th award with album of the year

The RIAA report noted that 2020 was a muted year for music revenues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 brought a “remarkable resurgence” to the physical format, and it’s been growing ever since.

More on Entertainment

In the United Kingdom, the Entertainment Retailers Association is also heralding the revival of vinyl. U.K. sales in 2022 showed that vinyl also outsold CDs for the first time since 1987, with record sales growing 11 per cent compared to a 17 per cent fall in CD sales.

Trending Now

There are a number of reasons driving the vinyl renaissance. Some audiophiles claim the format produces a richer, more authentic sound when compared to digital recordings, and younger people who grew up with iPods and MP3 players have praised the tangibility and ritual of handling and playing vinyl records on a turntable. Overall, using a record player feels like a more intentional way to enjoy music.

Read more:

The world is suffering from a shortage of vinyl records and massive price shocks

And in the era of music streaming, buying vinyl records has been a way for some fans to own a piece of their favourite artist’s music. In this way, physical records can hold sentimental value like concert merchandise.

Story continues below advertisement

Last year’s vinyl record sales demonstrate that vinyl is “cementing its role as a fixture of the modern music marketplace,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said in a post on Medium.

“Music lovers clearly can’t get enough of the high-quality sound and tangible connection to artists vinyl delivers,” Glazier said, “and labels have squarely met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted packages and discs.”

How buying vinyl albums can help support the Kingston Symphony Association

Previous Video

Next Video

VinylcdsVinyl RecordsCdVinyl salesVinyl outselling CDsVinyl outsold CDs in 2022vinyl records outsold CDsvinyl sales up



Author Image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *