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Back To Retro: Vinyl Sales Overtake CDs For First Time Since ‘86

Sales of the classic vinyl format in the USA have surpasses CDs for the first time in 35 years.

According to the RIAA’s year-end report on the music industry, sales of CDs have increased steadily since 2006, easily overtaking the classic vinyl records.

However, the run up to Christmas saw vinyl sales skyrocket to 1.841 million units in just one week.

Overall, vinyl sales in 2020 grew up 28.7 per cent to $626 million – while CD sales declined by 23 per cent to $483 million.

The top selling vinyl albums were Billie Eilish’s When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and Harry Styles’ Fine Line.

The last time vinyl sales beat CDS in sales revenue was back in 1986.

Digital music downloads also dropped by 13 per cent to $320 million in 2020, accounting for just 6 per cent of total recorded music revenue.

Australia likely isn’t too far behind in the vinyl sales trend, after ARIA CEO Dan Rosen forecasted last year that Aussies will be buy more vinyl than CDs by the end of 2020.

Vinyl sales hit a peak in Australia in 1987 when the format was raking in $80 million a year, the report states.

By 2007 it had dipped to just $2 million thanks to the emergence of CDs, but by 2019 it had bounced back to $20 million in annual sales.

“The rise of vinyl underlines how much people love music. Music fans still want something to hold and cherish, and everything we see tells us that this trend will continue in the years to come,” Rosen said in 2020.

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