Vinyl Outsells CDs For The First Time In Decades

By Pamela Connellan
on 28 April 2023

The latest figures show from the US show that over 41 million vinyl records were sold in 2022, to the tune of $1.2 billion and only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483 million. This means that for the first time since 1987, vinyl record sales outperformed CDS in the US, according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Overall, revenue for recorded music increased by 6% in 2022, driven largely by streaming but also by physical music format sales. Last year, revenue for recorded music in the US grew for the seventh consecutive year, reaching a record high of $15.9 billion in total.

The RIAA report found that revenue for physical music formats has steadily risen over the years, marked by a ‘remarkable resurgence’ in 2021 after being muted by Covid-19 in 2020. Physical music revenues as a whole were up 4% last year, propelled by vinyl records which saw a 17% increase. Meanwhile, revenue from CDs fell 18%.

Vinyl records
People are going back to listening to vinyl in droves.

Physical copies of music are outperforming digital downloads

Physical copies of music continued to perform better than digital downloads, the report found, which saw yet another decline in revenue, dropping by 20% to $495 million. This is in stark contrast to the time when digital downloads once held peak popularity – making up 43% of recorded music revenues in 2012. Since then, downloads have plummeted – to just 3% last year.

Revenue from streaming, which includes ‘paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, digital and customised radio, social media platforms, digital fitness apps and others,’ grew 7% to a record high $13.3 billion, accounting for 84% of total revenues.

RIAA Chairman and CEO, Mitch Glazier commented in a post on Medium, saying last year’s vinyl record sales demonstrate 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 added, “and labels have squarely met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted packages and discs.”

In Australia, Addicted To Audio are committed to vinyl

Here in Australia, Addicted To Audio have complete sets of turntables and turntable parts and accessories to enhance the vinyl listening experience. As the US figures show, even with the rise and convenience of digital audio, there are many people who still believe there’s no better way to experience music than the smooth and soothing warmth of vinyl from a high-quality turntable. Here are a couple from Addicted To Audio:

Thorens TD 202 Manual Turntable

Thorens TD 202 Manual Turntable
The TD 202 manual turntable from Addicted To Audio.

The TD 202 completes the new series of manual plug and play turntables. Compared with its ‘smaller’ brother – the TD 201 – it comes with a larger plinth and an AT 95E cartridge.

Clearaudio Concept Turntable with Cartridge & Arm

Clearaudio Concept Turntable with Cartridge Arm
The Clearaudio Concept Turntable with Cartrdige & Arm.

The concept’s body is crafted from medium-density wood fibre (or, optionally, pressure-formed solid wood) with a selection of made-to-match surface finishes. The body’s upper layer incorporates a high-tech stained plastic compound designed to minimise unwanted resonance.

For more info about the turntables from Addicted to Audio, visit here.

For more info from Women Love Tech about the music industry, visit here.

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