According to the RIAA 2022 Year End report, total physical music revenues in 2022 reached $1.7 billion, a 4% increase from the prior year. Vinyl records drove this growth, with revenues increasing by 17% to $1.2 billion. This marks the sixteenth consecutive year of growth for vinyl records, a testament to the format’s enduring popularity among music fans.
Interestingly, vinyl albums outsold CDs in units for the first time since 1987, with 41 million vinyl albums sold compared to 33 million CDs. This is a significant milestone for the vinyl format, which was once considered obsolete in the digital age.
While vinyl’s growth has been consistent, CDs saw a decline in revenue of 18% in 2022, falling to $483 million. This is a reflection of the continuing shift towards digital streaming services, which offer consumers a wider selection of music and greater convenience.
Despite declining CD sales, physical music formats continue to have a strong presence in the music industry. Vinyl records in particular, have become a cultural phenomenon, with music fans seeking out rare and collectible editions to add to their collections.
The resurgence of physical music formats has been partly driven by younger listeners, who have rediscovered the tactile and visual experience of owning physical media. The popularity of vinyl has also been fueled by its warm, analog sound, which many listeners prefer over the digital sound of streaming services.