Vinyl records are making more money than CDs, first time since the 1980s

For the first time in 4 decades vinyl records have reclaimed their place as the most valuable physical form of music in the US.

It’s been a shaky year for the music industry. After a phenomenal start, business fell rapidly after March but in spite of the impact of COVID streaming and vinyl are still growing at an impressive rate, reveals Nielsen Music/MRC Data’s Midyear Report.

After 14 years of continuous growth vinyl records are back at the top of physical sales, beating CDs in the US for popularity. At the start of the year vinyl was growing by an incredible 45%.

After the sales slowdown from March physical album sales dropped overall to -35.4% where they were for the same period last year. That’s after they grew by a reasonable 4.6% at the start of the year.

Vinyl however continued it’s growth in the wake of reduced sales for an overall 11.2% increase on last years sales. 9.2 million vinyl records have been sold in the US so far this year.

Whilst more and more people switch to streaming services every year as their source of music, vinyl is coming back as a relic for those who don’t want to lose touch with the physical side of music.

It has become a much more romantic form of media, it’s large artwork sleeves and the process of holding a big record making them more appealing than plain CDs which have been plummeting in sales in the last decade.

The midyear report shows that total audio activity is up 9.4% so far for the year. The growth in streaming and vinyl has helped keep the industry growing even in the wake of the effect of Coronavirus.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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