Vinyl Records Outsold CDs For First Time Since 1987

More and more people are listening to vinyl records again. According to a recent study, vinyl record sales increased in 2022 after more than a decade of growth and surpassed CD sales in volume for the first time in over three decades.

The Recording Industry Association of America’s research, released on Thursday, indicated that the total revenue generated by physical music formats in 2022 increased by $1.7 billion. Vinyl records, whose sales grew by 17% to $1.2 billion, accounted for nearly three-quarters of the growth. According to the RIAA, this was the product’s 16th straight year of growth.omm

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Moreover, it was the first time since 1987 that more vinyl albums than CDs were sold; CD sales fell 18% in 2022. According to the organization, 33 million CDs were sold last year versus 41 million vinyl albums.

Yet, hard copies still outperformed digital downloads, which showed a decrease in sales once more. In the past, the industry relied heavily on digital downloads, which in 2012 accounted for 43% of recorded music sales. However, the survey found that ten years later, that percentage had decreased to just 3%.

Even so, recorded music saw an overall uptick in sales, increasing by around 6% from 2021 to close to $16 billion in retail and $10.3 billion in wholesale.

Vinyl Records Outsold CDs For First Time Since 1987

According to a Medium post by RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier, figures from last year reveal that vinyl is  “cementing its role as a fixture of the modern music marketplace.” 

“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.”   

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