Last year, more vinyl records were sold than CDs for the first time since 1987.
That was back when it was the end of the world as REM knew it, Jennifer Grey’s Baby was coming out of her corner and having the time of her life and George Michael was urging everyone to have “Faith.”
While physical music represented just 11% of the 2022 market, which was dominated by streaming services at 84%, vinyl saw its 16th consecutive year of growthwith 41 million albums sold compared to the 33 million CDs listeners bought, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said in a recent report.
Growing 17% over previous years with $1.2bn in sales, vinyl captured around 75% of all physical music revenue, while CD revenue fell 18%, raking in just $483m . Digital download revenue fell 20% to $495 million. Ten years earlier, the category formed 43% of revenue for recorded music, BBC News noted.
“Music lovers clearly can’t get enough of the high-quality sound and tangible connection to artists’ vinyl releases and labels have met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted discs and packages,” Mitch Glazier, president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, wrote in a post. in Medium. last year.
Music experts attributed the changes in part to young people gravitating toward vinyl record albums, spurred on by the likes of Adele and Taylor Swift, who have released vinyl versions of their work, NPR reported.
The lifting of pandemic restrictions also helped, as customers returned to record stores, the RIAA said.
The medium is here to stay, Glazier wrote, with the “astonishing growth” of the past year showing that it is “solidifying its role as a fixture of the modern music market.”