Who would've thought such a thing was possible even 5, 10 years ago, but vinyl might outsell physical CDs this year. We saw the writing on the wall with last year's report, where vinyl showed big increases, along with streaming, while CD sales were diving.
The Recording Industry Association of America just released their mid-year report, and so far, 8.6 million vinyl records were sold in the first half of the year, totalling $224.1 million in sales and 4% of overall revenue.
CDs meanwhile accounted for $247.9 million, with 18.6 million units sold.
Are you seeing the trend? Even though more CDs are being sold, because of the lower price and trends in general, vinyl revenue is on pace to outsell CD revenue.
Remember cassette tapes? They got a boost too, selling 118,200 units in 2018, compared to 99,400 units the prior year. Ultimately, it's still a blip on the radar.
Streaming revenue is where all the growth is, with $4.3 billion in the first half of 2019, which was a 26% growth. $3.3 billion of that revenue is from paid subscriptions. That means $1 billion in revenue was made from free Spotify and Youtube streams. Paid subs account for 62% of overall revenue for the music industry.
Digital downloads continue to drop 18% year over year.
Overall, the industry is healthy and expected to grwo from the $9.8 billion mark set in 2018, up from 2017's $8.8 billion.