As physical music sales collapse under the power of streaming services, vinyl records are finally taking revenge on CD. The Recording Industry Association of America reports that vinyl oversold CDs this year ̵
Records account for 62% of physical music sales this year, towering over CDs and making $ 232 million in the first half of 2020. But not only audiophiles buy wax – retail stores like Walmart, Barnes and Noble now sell CDs as well as LPs, and tour musicians regularly sell records at the counter. The average music fan may own a small stack of vinyl records even if they don’t have a record player.
Unfortunately, overall physical music sales fell 23% that year. The COVID-19 pandemic is making music stores less attractive, and artists who normally sell records, CDs, and tapes on shows are currently unable to tour. The bulk of physical media sales happen online, and the artists who benefit most from it are classic rock groups like The Beatles and queen, according to a report by Rolling Stone Magazine.
And even if record sales outperform CDs, streaming media accounts for 85% of all music revenue. Physical media only accounts for 7% of total sales, which is only marginally better than the 6% generated by digital downloads.
Sources: RIAA and Rolling Stone