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Record Sales

Vinyl Outsells CDs for the First Time Since 1986

Finally, vinyl has its moment… again.


Vinyl was on track to outsell comact discs in 2019 but didn't quite make it. Now, in 2020, it's finally happened. For the first time since 1986, vinyl has outsold CDs. According to Bloomberg, music fans across the United States have spent a total of $232.1 million on vinyl in the first half of 2019, whereas CDs only earned $129.9 million. Which is not too surprising given the deluge of vinyl releases and reissues in the past few years.

Vinyl sales have risen every year since 2005, when they bottomed out at $14.2 million in sales for the year. With the higher fidelity, better sound, and larger canvas, vinyl has become the preferred format for collectors.

CD sales fell 48% this year, with a large reason being the coronavirus. Even with the vinyl rebound, physical media is still a very small part of the overall pie. Streaming accounts for 85% of all music revenue in the first half of 2020.

Consequence of Sound also ran a report on what the top selling vinyl of the past decade was, and it's not exactly surprising. Especially considering our recent post about the 20 best-selling platinum artists in hard rock and heavy metal.

  1. The BeatlesAbbey Road (558,000)
  2. Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon (376,00)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (367,000)
  4. Bob Marley & The WailersLegend (364,000)
  5. Amy WinehouseBack to Black (351,000)
  6. Michael JacksonThriller (334,000)
  7. The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (313,000)
  8. Fleetwood MacRumors (304,000)
  9. Miles DavisKind of Blue (286,000)
  10. Lana Del ReyBorn To Die (283,000)
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