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Vinyl records outsell CDs for the first time since 1987

by Kaitlyn Radde, NPR, 2023-03-10

Vinyl albums outsold CDs last year for the first time since 1987, according to the Recording Industry Association of America's year-end report released Thursday.

It marked the 16th consecutive year of growth in vinyl, with 41 million albums sold — compared to 33 million CDs.

Streaming is still the biggest driver of the music industry's growth, making up 84% of recorded-music revenue, but physical music formats saw a remarkable resurgence in the past couple of years.

Vinyl revenue grew 17% and topped $1.2 billion last year, making up nearly three-quarters of the revenue brought in by physical music. At the same time, CD revenue fell 18% to $483 million, the RIAA said.

The pandemic led to a spike in demand for vinyl records, driven largely by younger buyers. Vinyl has become a major part of artists' marketing campaigns.

photo by Nicolas Pelletier, at La Rama Records, Montreal, on January 16, 2023. All rights reserved.


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