Vinyl Set to Outsell CDs for the First Time Since 1986

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The decrease in CD sales is not surprising, especially while the digital streaming environment continues to grow. What is surprising, however, is the increase in vinyl sales as of late. Then again, industry revenue is also growing. With the music industry on track to hit $10 billion the first time since 2007, music industry revenue is up 18%.

The RIAA’s 2019 mid-year report last week showed some important numbers for the music industry, which has a bright future. Part of the report revealed that vinyl record sales were generating $224.1 million in sales on 8.6 million units which is continuing to grow. CD sales are on a decline which were $247.9 million on 18.6 million units in sales.

What Vinyl Are People Buying?

What vinyl are people actually buying, you might ask? The Official Charts released the top vinyl of 2019 thus far. The list includes everything from Queen’s Greatest Hits, to Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go.

1 GREATEST HITS QUEEN
2 WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO BILLIE EILISH
3 UNKNOWN PLEASURES JOY DIVISION
4 RUMOURS FLEETWOOD MAC
5 DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT LEWIS CAPALDI
6 THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON PINK FLOYD
7 LEGACY DAVID BOWIE
8 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN MOTION PICTURE CAST RECORDING
9 EVERYTHING NOT SAVED WILL BE LOST – PT 1 FOALS
10 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – OST QUEEN
11 NEVERMIND NIRVANA
12 WESTERN STARS BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

While it is impressive that vinyl is making a comeback, it only accounts for a small portion of industry sales. For the first half of 2019 alone, it is about 4% of total revenue. While streaming accounted for 80% of the music industry’s revenues in 2019. Physical sales and digital downloads both account for less than 10% each. While paid subscriptions and streaming services generated 62% of the industry total. All in all, it is exciting to see vinyl making a comeback.