According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s year-end report, vinyl records outsold CDs for the first time since 1987.

With 41 million albums sold, vinyl saw growth for the 16th year running as opposed to 33 million CDs.

Despite the fact that 84% of recorded music revenue is still generated by streaming, physical audio formats have experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years.

Last year, vinyl sales reached $1.2 billion, an increase of 17%, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all physical audio sales. The RIAA reported that CD sales dropped 18% to $483 million at the same period.

Vinyl record sales increased as a result of the epidemic, primarily due to younger consumers. The marketing strategies of musicians now heavily feature vinyl.

Pop music is a rapidly expanding genre on vinyl thanks to artists like Adele and Taylor Swift, and many independent producers battled to ramp up production and satisfy the demand after years of decline. This prevented independent musicians from releasing records and caused some bands to delay album releases.

In 2016, the state of the recorded music business began to turn around as streaming services expanded and offset a drop in CD sales and an increase in online music piracy. According to the RIAA, 92 million paid users to services like Spotify and Apple Music generated $10.2 billion in revenue in 2022, breaking the $10 billion mark for the first time.

Ad-supported streaming, such as that on YouTube, brought in $1.8 billion and accounted for 11% of sales of recorded audio. Digital download revenue, which includes both albums and single songs, fell 20% to $495 million.


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