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Vinyl Records Outsell CDs For Second Time

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that last year, 43 million people purchased vinyl records.

This is 6 million more than the number of CDs sold in 2023, marking the second year since 1987.

Vinyl records brought in $1.4 billion compared to CDs, which accumulated $537 million. The report indicated CD revenue was up, however, when it comes to physical products sold, 700,000 less CDs were purchased in 2023 compared with the year before.

Almost half a million cassettes sold last year, and in terms of streaming, paid subscriptions, digital radio services, and ad-supported services accounted for 84% of music revenue for the year.

RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier said this year’s growth comes despite “the mushrooming threat of generative artificial intelligence,” which threatens the “dynamic growth and cultural reach” of music.

It’s unclear if human-made music is in danger, however, the industry is struggling with AI lyric distribution and voice clones.

It’s easy to see why vinyl sales are surpassing that of CDs. CD players aren’t as global as previously. New cars don’t ship with them anymore, and neither do notebooks.

Despite streaming gaining more of the overall music revenue, however, ratios were pretty similar to the year before, with physical media accounting for 11% of sales, music sync royalties achieving 2%, and digital purchases taking home 3% of the overall share.

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