Vinyl sales are set to surpass CDs for the first time since 1986
This marks the first time in over thirty years vinyl has outsold CDs.September 6, 2019
The music industry has been pushing for vinyl to make a huge comeback since the format’s revival, and it looks like it’s finally happening.
For the first time since 1986, vinyl is set to surpass CD sales as it continues to show growth while CDs are rapidly declining.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) mid-year report, vinyl records earned $224.1 million (on 8.6 million units) in the first half of the year.
That’s coming in extremely close to the $247.9 million (on 18.6 million units) generated by CD sales.
Vinyl revenue grew by 12.8 percent in the second half of 2018 and 12.9 percent in the first six months of 2019. CD sales, on the other hand, have barely budged.
Last year’s mid-year report suggested CD sales were declining three times as fast as vinyl’s growth. Vinyl also saw its highest sales figures last year since the early Nineties, but that’s been crushed by this year’s numbers.
By the end of 2018, vinyl sales accounted for around one-third of physical music revenue. CDs though made just $698 million, falling 34 percent and marking the first time the format earned less than $1 billion since 1986.
Although vinyl sales are booming at the moment, streaming is still the dominant force in the music industry. Physical records account for just 4 percent of total revenue while streaming holds 62 percent of industry money.
Trailing behind in the background, cassette sales have also seen an increase recently. According to a report from BuzzAngle, cassette sales jumped from 99,400 to 118,200 units sold last year.
What do you think of vinyl sales coming close to surpassing CD sales for the first time in over thirty years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.