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Vinyl sales top CD sales for first time since the 1980s

$232.1 million: The total US sales of vinyl records in the first half of 2020.

Vinyl records outsold CDs for the first time since the eighties, according to a recently released mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Of course, this may come as no surprise for audiophiles who know that vinyl was predicted to outpace CDs exactly one year ago. The vinyl format trend is still a far cry from its 1978 peak, when the combined sales of vinyl singles and albums hit $2.73 billion.

Vinyl sales revenue was up 4% while CD sales revenue was down 48%, which together make up the physical album sales figure. Revenues from physical products of $376 million, down 23% from one year ago. “There was a significant impact from music retail and venue shutdown measures around COVID-19,” the RIAA found. While closures of record stores certainly impacted physical sales, the downward trend also points to how the pandemic has contributed to an increasingly digital world.

Vinyl sales are dwarfed by music streaming revenue, which has continued to climb throughout quarantine, growing 12% to roughly $4.8 billion. According to the report, the average number of paid music subscriptions was 72 million, a number which is up 24% compared to the first half of 2019.

The mid-2020 report underscores how the COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the US recording industry but how people’s music listening patterns have changed due to the virus.

View the full report from RIAA here.

Via: USA Today.