Vinyl Record Sales Soar Past CD Sales in the US
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 254
For the first time since 1987, vinyl record sales have surpassed CD sales in the United States. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), 41 million records were sold in 2022, generating revenue of $1.2 billion, while only 33 million CDs were sold, generating revenue of $483 million.
“Revenues from physical music formats continued to grow after their remarkable resurgence in 2021,” the RIAA said in its report. “Total physical revenues of $1.7 billion were up 4% versus the prior year.
Revenues from vinyl records grew 17% to $1.2 billion … and accounted for 71% of physical format revenues”.
The Growth of Vinyl Record Sales Takes the Industry by Storm
Marley Roberts, owner of Marley's Music in downtown Biloxi, expressed his amazement at the rapid growth of vinyl record sales.
"It's truly stunning to witness such a remarkable increase in a relatively short period of time," he said. Roberts attributes the surge in popularity to the involvement of newer artists in releasing vinyl versions of their current albums.
"Artists such as Lady Gaga, Post Malone, and Taylor Swift have given the vinyl market a much-needed boost by releasing records, attracting people who previously were not interested in vinyl or had been turned off by CDs or streaming," he added.
The Revival of the Record Shop Experience
The growth of vinyl record sales has been on an upward trajectory for the past 16 years, accounting for 71 percent of revenue from physical music formats. The report also shows that revenue from recorded music in the US reached a record $15.9 billion in 2022, growing by six percent for the seventh consecutive year.
Beyond the superior sound quality of vinyl records, Roberts emphasized the unique experience of visiting a record shop. "Many customers see it as a second home, visiting a couple of times a week to relax and listen to music," he said.
"I've made some great friends this way, and I am truly grateful for that." The revival of vinyl record sales, combined with the growth of streaming, has resulted in a significant increase in revenue for the recorded music industry in the US.