If reading the title surprised you given the intensive use of terms quite outdated in the hi-tech field such as "CD" and "vinyl", the gist of the matter remains intact, vinyl records have surpassed CDs in sales, at least in the United States. An overtaking that will not have repercussions on the markets, but which in itself represents a curious fact. It is good to remember that the vinyl record market has always boasted a strong niche of fans, a hard core of nostalgic and sound purists, which over time has constantly grown, leading to collecting.
On the contrary, CDs have never thrilled anyone, starting with the purely qualitative deficiencies of the audio format, to the total lack of charm of the medium. That said, physical media sales continue to decline year-on-year and streaming services dominate. And this is how the ideal substrate for overtaking was created, today vinyl records sell more than CDs and it hasn't happened since the 80s.
The communicates it Recording Industry Association of America, which recently released its mid-year report on the US music industry. According to the data released, sales of vinyl albums have increased by 4% since the first half of 2019, rising to 232 million dollars. This represents 62% of physical revenue during the first six months of the year, but only 4% of total revenue from recorded music. Overall physical sales dropped to $ 376 million. This is a 23% decline year-on-year.
Data that shouldn't surprise all that much, services like Spotify have steadily grown even during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing a very solid active user base. The report also notes that streaming accounted for 85% of music revenue in the first six months of the year, up from 79% for all of 2019.
Yet even vinyl records still manage to carve out a space, despite struggling in a market where music is within the reach of anyone with a simple data connection.