Vinyl Records Outsold CDs in 2023, Report Finds

Photo from Eric Krull via Unsplash

Vinyl Records Outsold CDs in 2023, Report Finds

By Movieguide® Contributor

Vinyl records outsold CDs last year, marking the second time since 1987 that this has happened. 

“Revenues from vinyl records grew 10% to $1.4 billion—the seventeenth consecutive year of growth—and accounted for 71% of physical format revenues,” a study from the Recording Industry Association of America found. “For the second time since 1987, vinyl albums outsold CDs in units (43 million vs 37 million), even as revenues from CDs also show growth, up 11% to $537 million in 2023.”

Vinyl isn’t the only old-school audio format making a comeback. 

Billboard reported that “cassette album sales jumped 28% in 2022” and “mostly stayed steady in 2023, slipping just 0.75%.”

“In 2023, a total of 436,400 cassette albums were sold — a sliver less than the 439,700 sold in 2022,” Billboard continued. 

Streaming numbers were also up in 2023, with The Verge writing, “paid subscriptions, digital radio services like SiriusXM or TuneIn, and ad-supported services accounted for 84 percent of music revenue for the year, or about $14.4 billion. The RIAA says that’s a record.”

RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier weighed in on 2023’s music stats, saying, “Recorded music keeps reaching new heights as labels’ ‘all of the above’ commitment to meet fans everywhere they want to be continued to pay off for the entire music community.”

He explained that things like “licensing of social networks, fitness apps, and short-form video are adding new value and physical sales” contributed to increased music industry profits. 

“For artists, songwriters, and fans, this strong and sustained growth signals a time of incredible opportunity — with new formats, styles, and sounds rising up across innovative platforms and emerging ways to listen,” he continued. “As new services continue to get fully licensed at rates reflecting music’s incredible value, revenue for artists and songwriters will only continue to grow.”

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