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Vinyl records outsold CDs in the U.S. for the first time since 1987

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Vinyl albums have outsold CDs in the U.S. for the first time since 1987 by eight million units.
Vinyl Sales Surpass CDs in US

Vinyl albums have outsold CDs in the U.S. for the first time since 1987 by eight million units.

A report by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) revealed that 41 million vinyl CDs were sold in 2022, compared to 33 million CDs.

It was the sixteenth consecutive year of growth for vinyl, and it now represents 71% of revenue for physical music sales.

The wider context

Total revenue for the recorded music industry was up 6% in 2022 compared to 2021. Streaming accounted for 84% of total recorded music revenue, with paid digital music subscriptions seeing strong growth, exceeding $US10 billion in annual revenue for the first time.

Revenue from the digital purchase of music (e.g. buying an album from the iTunes Store or Amazon Music) declined 20%, and now represents only 3% of total music sales.

Who buys Vinyls?

According to a 2021 demographic report from the RIAA, Gen Z (aged 13-26) are the group most likely to purchase new records.

At the top of the Australia vinyl charts this week are Ruel, Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles.

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