That’s right, it’s finally happened. Vinyl has taken back its rightful place at the top of the physical format ladder by outselling CDs in the US over the first half of 2020, according to The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA).
According to the RIAA, for the first half of the year, there was $376 million worth of physical music sales, with 62% of these being vinyl sales. In the same period, however, streaming did also increase its stranglehold on the industry making up for a huge 85% of the revenue for music sales in the first half of the year, generating an estimated $4.8 billion.
This was all during the time of the COVID pandemic which is actually quite interesting. Even though the music industry as a whole, suffered greatly during this time (live venues and record stores especially), the buying of music still actually benefited from growth. I guess it’s not surprising – if people are stuck indoors, purchasing music, whether online or in physical format, is still something you’d be able to do quite easily during the troubled times.
This is also good news for the record stores, many of which have been struggling during the pandemic. With many local record stores not having an online purchasing option, to try and keep their businesses going whilst in lockdown, this was something that many decided to set up. Also, with frequent support from Record Store Day and social media campaigns, vinyl enthusiasts were made aware of the potential closure problems which boosted vinyl sales and purchases from independent stores during the tough times.
With the first RSD Drops event in August a resounding success, and the next one due on 26th September, let’s hope that this will bring in further revenue for those struggling local record stores and keep vinyl at the top where it belongs!