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Vinyl record sales surpass CDs for first time since 1987

Taylor Swift's 'Midnights' topped all vinyl album sales last year
Coachella attendees shop for records, April 16, 2022
Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 13, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — What's old is new again, it seems. That's especially new when it comes to records, which are moving the needle in the music industry.

A new report revealed that vinyl record sales outsold compact discs last year for the first time in more than three decades.

The report, released last week by the Recording Industry Association of America, found that tangible music formats continued to grow in 2022, with revenue from records increasing 17% from the previous year to $1.2 billion and accounting for 71% of physical format sales.

For the first time since 1987, vinyl albums outsold CDs in units – 41 million last year compared to 33 million in 2021.

Although streaming still made up the largest percentage of music revenues in 2022, digitally downloaded music continued to decline, accounting for just 3% of total U.S. revenues. That's a precipitous decline from a peak of 43% of all revenues 10 years earlier.

Of the top 10 best-selling vinyl albums in 2022, only one – Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" – was released prior to the digital era.

Taylor Swift's "Midnights" led the way in vinyl sales last year, selling more than 89,000 copies.

Arctic Monkeys had two vinyl recordings crack the top 10 – last year's "The Car" and their 2012 album "AM."