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Vinyl Sales Overtake CDs for the First Time Since the '80s

By Michael Vincent on March 13, 2023

After years of being a niche form of music consumption, vinyl records have officially overtaken CD sales.

The historic finding comes from a report released by RIAA last week.

What’s behind the surge?

The resurgence has been attributed to a number of factors, including their ability to provide listeners with a unique and immersive listening experience, as well as their novelty factor. With vinyl record players becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, fans are turning to them in increasing numbers.

Why it matters

Retailers have also felt the benefits of this renewed interest in vinyl, with independent music stores seeing an unprecedented increase in sales. “We used to be lucky if we sold one or two albums a week,” said Emmett Ashford, manager at Ohio-based CD and Records store. “But now it’s not uncommon for us to sell up to 10 or 20 albums on any given day.”

Digital streaming services have also played a part in driving interest in vinyl records. Many people are using these services as a way to discover new artists and genres of music that they can then explore further by purchasing physical copies of the music on vinyl records.

What this means

Even with Vinyl’s newfound popularity, experts are unsure whether it will remain popular for long enough for it to be considered a long-term replacement for CDs. For now, though, it seems that the growing number of devoted vinyl fans will ensure its continued success.

Michael Vincent
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