Vinyl record sales surpass CD sales for the first time in 35 YEARS following the surge in retro gadgets
It would be easy to assume that the younger generation does not know either the dull thud of a drop of a needle or the soft crackle when the disk begins to rotate.
With streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, which lets you play music from phones, laptops, and watches, why would they spend hundreds on a player?
But it turns out they’re doing it anyway, as a new report shows that vinyl records are outselling CDs for the first time in 35 years.
Just over 41 million records were sold in 2022 for a total of $1.2 billion (£0.99 billion), compared to 33 million CDs.
Vinyls accounted for 71 percent of physical music format revenue this year, marking their 16th consecutive year of growth.
Just over 41 million records were sold for a total of $1.2 billion (£0.99 billion) in 2022, compared to 33 million CDs (archive image).
Vinyls account for 71 percent of physical music format revenue in 2022, marking their 16th consecutive year of growth.
“Music Industry Year-End Earnings Report” convened annually by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
It collects US recorded music revenues through streaming services, digital downloads, and physical unit sales.
This was stated by CEO and Chairman of the RIAA Mitch Glaser. middle“Music lovers clearly can’t get enough of the high quality sound and tangible connection to artists that vinyl provides, and labels are meeting that demand with a constant stream of exclusives, special reissues, beautifully crafted packaging and discs.”
In 2022, total music revenue across all formats reached an all-time high of $15.9 billion (£13.3 billion), marking a 15th consecutive year of growth.
This is six percent more than in 2021, mainly due to subscription to streaming services, but physical music formats also made a significant contribution.
CD, vinyl and cassette revenues have surged since 2021 as sales declined in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was because it resulted in record stores closing and tour cancellations with many devices being sold at merchandise stands.
But in 2021, CD sales are up year-over-year for the first time in 17 years, showing that listening to music away from your computer is still all the rage.
Their fortunes really changed last year when CD sales fell 18 percent and vinyl records rose 17 percent.
The Music Industry Year-End Earnings Report is compiled annually by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It collects US recorded music revenues through streaming services, digital downloads, and physical unit sales.
Despite the convenience of streaming services, the demand for real, tangible products is especially noticeable among young people. They are nicknamed the “Phygital Generation” as they grew up in a culture of digital downloads (file image).
Last month, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) confirmed that vinyl sales hit 30-year high in UK in 2022after growing for 15 consecutive years.
The best-selling albums were Taylor Swift’s Midnights, which sold over 89,000 vinyl copies, as well as Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, Arctic Monkeys’ The Car and Liam Gallagher’s C’mon You Know.
This vinyl renaissance allowed the music giant to HMV to make first profit in four years.
Doug Putman, network ownersaid: “Before I bought HMV, it was clearly an older demographic.
“Go in today and it’s incredible how many ten, 15, 18 year olds are in the store. I’m telling you, it’s good for us in the long run.
Jeff Taylor, Executive Director of BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “The vinyl renaissance has been one of the most anticipated success stories in recent memory.
“While initially this revival was based largely on old music lovers reuniting with cherished past albums and younger generations rediscovering classic releases, the continued growth in record sales has increasingly been fueled by brand new releases.”
Physical sales are up 4% in 2022, while digital download sales are down 20% to $495 million (£407 million), according to a RIAA report.
Despite the convenience of streaming services, the demand for real, tangible products is especially noticeable among young people.
They have been dubbed the “Phygital Generation” as they grew up in a culture of digital downloads.
However, an eBay survey found that some 83 percent of people aged 18 to 24 bought a physical medium rather than a digital version in 2017..
Ironically, the rise of selfies and Instagram has made young people want to collect real things they can show off.
An eBay spokesperson said: “The culture of Instagram, embodied in the rise of the shelf as a means of proclaiming our intellectual commitment and cultural loyalty, plays a role in the popularity of physical media among young consumers.
“A quarter of the ‘phygital generation’ would buy books to display, and 17% would buy records to show off on their shelves.”
The study found that the number 1 singles are now shorter and slower than they were 70 years ago.
The new analysis shows that pop songs are getting shorter, with the average length of number 1 now closer to three minutes than four.
Chart analysts blame this trend for the death of CDs, and streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music turns us away from the player.
According to chart analyst and historian James Masterton, artists are ditching long intros in favor of a catchy hook that could lead to a viral hit.
Speaking to MailOnline, he said: “The trend towards shorter song lengths has a lot to do with how producers target tracks for streaming audiences.
“Long instrumental intros are a thing of the past, you have to get to the heart of the song as quickly as possible so people don’t leave.”