HomeEntertainmentMusicVinyl Outsells CD, Reigns Supreme for First Time in 35 Years

Vinyl Outsells CD, Reigns Supreme for First Time in 35 Years

by Taylor Cunningham
Vinyl CD
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For the first time in more than three decades, vinyl has outsold CDs in the United States proving once again that the country is heavy on nostalgia.

The Recording Industry Association of America published its yearly revenue statistics report recently and found that music lovers reverted back to their love of records in 2022.

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People bought 41.3 million units of vinyl compared to 33 million for compact discs. That means that vinyl accounted for 71% of the total physical format revenues. In 2021, LPs sold 40 million units. The difference is a 17% jump.

The No.1 vinyl record of the year was Taylor Swift’s Midnights with 945,000 copies sold. Following that was Harry Styles’ Harry’s House with 480,000, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour with 263,000, Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city with 254,000, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours with 243,000, according to Luminate.

Mixonline writes that vinyl has been on a 16-year growth streak. But 2022 was one of its biggest jumps yet. The year before, it only inched up by 4%, and CDs still held a respectable lead in physical sales.

In the years leading to the vinyl takeover, CDs had been enjoying a 21% year-over-year revenue increase. But in 2022, its revenue dropped by 18%. The loss was the first since 2004.

Vinyl and Streaming Services Were 2022’s Top Earners for the Music Industry

But licorice pizzas aren’t the only things coming off a great year. The entire music industry saw a major influx in popularity. Overall, the industry reached a value of $15.9 billion in 2022, which is an all-time record.

Paid streaming subscriptions accounted for the majority of the industry’s worth with 84% of that total revenue, which equaled an 8% increase at $10.2 billion. Ad-supported streaming jumped 6% to $1.8 billion. 

“2022 was an impressive year of sustained ‘growth-over-growth’ more than a decade after streaming’s explosion onto the music scene,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier in a statement. “Continuing that long run, subscription streaming revenues now make up two-thirds of the market with a record high $13.3 billion. This long and ongoing arc of success has only been possible thanks to the determined and creative work of record companies fighting to build a healthy streaming economy where artists and rights-holders get paid wherever and whenever their work is used.”

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