With streaming accounting for most listeners’ format of choice, 2022 marked the first time that vinyl records outsold CDs since 1987. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s year-end report, more than 41 million vinyl albums were sold, compared to 33 million CDs. In fact, vinyl sales grew by a whopping 17% over the previous year, with sales being driven mostly by young buyers.
So much for the stereotype of older music lovers sticking to physical formats. Nearly all releases by the most popular artists in every genre are represented by at least a limited run of vinyl pressings that are often priced well above CDs.
With major players like Sony investing in a massive new pressing plant, we expect even further growth this year. From its distinctive sonic appeal to the artwork that adorns its packaging, vinyl brings listeners closer to the music, while giving the artists respectable royalties from its sale. Considering the attention the trend receives from audio, lifestyle, and business press, we hope to see vinyl continue to expand its reach throughout the music industry.