When physical music sales disappear under the stream of streaming services, vinyl records finally pick up on the CD. The Recording Industry Association of America reports that vinyl sold out CDs this year ̵1; an achievement that has not been achieved since 1986.
Vinyl records account for 62% of physical music sales this year, growing over CDs and generating $ 232 million in the first half of 2020. But it’s not just audio files that are buying wax – stores like Walmart and Barnes and Noble now sell LPs together with CDs. , and touring musicians regularly sell vinyl records at merchandise tables. The average music fan can own a small stack of records, even if they do not have a turntable.
Unfortunately, total physical music sales fell by 23% this year. The COVID-19 pandemic makes music stores less appealing and artists who usually sell records, CDs and tapes at shows cannot tour right now. The majority of physical media sales take place online, and the artists who benefit the most are classic rock groups like The beetles and Queen, according to a report from Rolling stone journal.
And even when record sales surpass CDs, streaming media accounts for 85% of all music revenue. Physical media makes up just under 7% of total revenue, which is slightly better than the 6% that digital downloads earn.
Sources: RIAA and Rolling Stone