2022 was a record year for records. For the first time since 1987, people bought more vinyl records than compact discs. Surprised anyone is buying either of these mediums anymore? They are—and a lot of them! Some 41 million vinyl records were sold last year, compared with 33 million CDs, according to a recent report put out by the Recording Industry Association of America. These figures are so promising that a Pennsylvania record store that shut its doors in 1999, due in part to negligible record sales, just reopened. Legendary band Metallica bought a Virginia vinyl record processing plant. Is this shift toward, and investment in, vinyl a trend, or does it represent a long-term change in consumer preferences? Who can say for sure! What we do know is that the RIAA report finds streaming continues to be the recorded music industry’s biggest money-maker, representing 84 percent of the industry’s revenues.
Sources: Ginger Adams Otis, “Vinyl Records Outsell CDs for the First Time since 1987,” The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2023; Brandon Drenon, “Vinyl Records Outsell CDs for First Time in Decades,” BBC, March 13, 2023; Mac Bell, “York County Vinyl Record Store Reopens after 24 Years of Closure,” ABC 27 News, March 13, 2023; Jarrett Dang and Erika Soderstrom, “A Window into LA’s Budding Scene for Latin Vinyl Records,” Marketplace, March 9, 2023; Mark Hand, “Metallica Buys NoVA Pressing Plant with Resurgence of Vinyl Records,” Patch, March 14, 2023