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Vinyl records outsell CDs for the first time in over 30 years

Sales of physical music as a whole have continued to grow year over year

It’s official: vinyl records are the new physical medium to beat. For the first time since 1987, the Recording Industry Association of America has reported that vinyl records outsold CDs in 2022. What’s more, the gap is fairly wide, with vinyl coming in at 41 million units to CD’s 33 million.

See also: Pro-Ject releases two premium vinyl record cleaning machines

While America’s recording industry just certified these statistics, other regions have already reported similar findings. The Entertainment Retailers Association reported on vinyl outselling CDs earlier this year for the UK, and the same sentiment has been echoed globally. With CDs becoming increasingly obsolete with the advent of digital streaming, consumers are looking for vinyl to satisfy that physical itch for media, not only for the novelty, but for the richer, warmer sound that vinyl enthusiasts crave.

Included in the RIAA’s report is the finding that vinyl sales have consistently grown over the last 16 years, and account for 71%(!!) of all physical musical format revenue. On the other side of the coin, CD sales dropped a staggering 12% in the last year alone. Interestingly, physical music format sales have grown over all in the last several years, but it’s now vinyl that’s king.

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