For the first time in 35 years, people in the US bought more vinyl records than compact discs (CDs) last year, according to a report in Wall Street Journal (WSJ). It cited data from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an industry body to say that 41 million vinyl albums were sold in 2022 compared to 33 million CDs. The outlet further said that sales of recorded music rose six per cent to $15.9 billion in 2022, for the seventh consecutive year.
The RIAA data shows that streaming continues to be the biggest driver of the music industry’s recent expansion.
Revenue from vinyl records rose 17 per cent, while CD revenue fell 18 per cent in the same time period, according to WSJ report.
Rolling Stone said retro appeal and more collectible album art played in favour of vinyl records. These records now account for 70 per cent of all physical music sales.
The RIAA report further says that paid subscriptions remain by far the biggest money-maker, growing 8 per cent last year to $10.2 billion, said the outlet.
Digital download revenue, meanwhile, continued its fall in 2022, just like previous years. It was down 20 per cent to $495 million.
“2022 was an impressive year of sustained ‘growth-over-growth’ more than a decade after streaming’s explosion onto the music scene,” RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier was quoted as saying by Rolling Stone. “Continuing that long run, subscription streaming revenues now make up two-thirds of the market with a robust record high $13.3 billion. This long and ongoing arc of success has only been possible thanks to the determined and creative work of record companies fighting to build a healthy streaming economy where artists and rights holders get paid wherever and whenever their work is used.”
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