Vinyl Sales Top CD Sales For The First Time Since 1986

Lawrence Kim
September 15, 2020

Sales of vinyl records surpassed those of CDs in the USA for the first time since 1986, marking a key turning point for the format's nostalgia-fueled resurgence.

Yep, the last time the vinyl record medium outsold CDs was way back in 1986-the year Top Gun and Crocodile Dundee came out. Since 2005, sales for vinyl have grown consecutively. It was that enthusiasm for collecting that helped vinyl completely surpass (and nearly double) CDs in these 6 months: $232.1 million in music sales for vinyl, to only $129.9 million for CDs.

Money spent on vinyl LPs and EPs came to US$231.1 million in the U.S. for the first half of 2020, easily beating the $129.9 million spent on CDs.

Other formats, such as vinyl recordings, cassette tapes, and CDs, also known as "wax presses", were common before they became the preferred method of listening to music. Subscription streaming revenues for first-half 2020 were up 14% to $3.8b vs.a comparable period in 2019. Will vinyls' resurgence continue? While we all had that one mate in the 2000s that insisted the sound quality was better on his dodgy record player, the format has been booming in recent years and bands are releasing cool and custom-designed vinyl LPs to keep up with the growing market for collectors. Concerts and visits to music stores have all but disappeared.

Streaming, which includes revenue streaming, ad-supported streaming and streaming radio revenue, increased by 12% to $ 4.8 billion in the first six months of 2020, the RIAA found.

The death knell of the compact disc has taken another inevitable step forward in 2020, as the once-dominant mode of purchasing music has fallen precipitously during quarantine as streaming as continued to surge.

For streaming services alone, more listeners have been willing to pay to play. This creates streaming the music format, accounting for over 85percent of music industry earnings.

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