vinyl outsells CDs for first time since the ’80s
Music fans bought more vinyl than CDs in 2020, according to the 2020 mid-year report by the RIAA. This marks the first time that has happened in over 30 years. Vinyl sales hit $232 million which accounted for 62% of physical sales.
Mind you, that $232 million was only around 4% of the total $5.7 billion in revenue recorded music took in during the first half of 2020. Most of that revenue is via streaming, as total physical sales ($376 million), and digital download revenue ($351 million) were both below ad-supported on-demand streaming ($421 million) for the first time. Streaming accounted for $4.8 billion total, with subscription streaming services accounting for $3.8 billion of that.
Music revenue increased slightly (5.6%) over the previous six-month period though it was on track for more before the pandemic hit. "These are historically difficult times: the live music sector is shut down; studio recording is limited; and millions of Americans are out of work across the broader economy," RIAA chairman/CEO Mitch Glazier said in a statement with the report. "While we’re pleased that the years of hard work and resources we’ve invested in streaming are driving growth in paid subscriptions, today’s report demonstrates just how much work remains to achieve a sustainably healthy music ecosystem for both music creators and fans. We must continue working to help sustain live music and venues, support gig workers and session musicians, and ensure fair pay for music on all digital platforms. Despite all the challenges from the pandemic, one thing clearly hasn’t changed -- fans still love music."
You can read the RIAA's full mid-year report here.