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Vinyl To Surpass CD Sales For The First Time Since 1986

The beautiful thing about history is that it often repeats itself.

According to reports from Rolling Stone, vinyl sales in the first half of 2019 generated $224.1 million dollars, moving 8.6 million units–which is equivalent to a third of the revenue for physical releases (meaning non-streaming options) according to the RIAA.

But while vinyls were apparently flying off the shelves all year, compact discs (more commonly known as CDs) sat on shelves collecting dust compared to the numbers they used to put up. CD sales brought in $247.9 million with 18.6 million units sold. Even with 10 million more units than what vinyl sold, the gap is still small enough for vinyl to reclaim its throne amongst consumers with the holiday season approaching.

This is a big jump for vinyl, especially considering the fact that they have a seriously limited selection compared to CDs. The growth this year on vinyl jumped just over 12% so far in 2019 after a previously great 2018 that saw a 12.8% increase.

While vinyl is clearly having a second wind at life, it still isn’t anywhere near its online competition: streaming (Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify). Streaming & paid subscription services still account for roughly 62% of all music sales.

If you didn’t know how big of a business the music industry is, just think about how an updated format like vinyl is raking in $224 million in the first half of 2019 with not even half of the new releases being available.

It’s safe to say business is BOOMING.



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