Vinyl sales surpass CD sales for first time since 1987

Digital downloads have waned in interest, but vinyl record sales continue to grow for the 16th consecutive year.


Vinyl is having a strong revival and is outselling CDs in the United States, not seen since 1987 .

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA ) annual revenue report, 41 million vinyl records were sold against 33 million CDs during 2022.

the vinyl feel

Vinyl record sales have risen steadily over the past 16 years, according to the RIAA report, and now account for 71% of all physical music format revenue.

While physical formats as a whole increased 4%, earning $1.7bn between 2021 and 2022, vinyl sales alone accounted for $1.2bn, experiencing a 17% increase in sales compared to the previous year.

Comparatively, CD sales plummeted 18% in 2022.

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) reported the same milestone earlier this year, although its figures only reference UK sales data.

Factors for its growth

Many experts claim that the vinyl format provides a warmer, more authentic sound compared to digital.

Nostalgia also plays a role for those who lived through the golden age of vinyl , but younger generations are also driving sales, praising the format’s tangibility and artistry.

Taylor Swift was the top-selling artist last year, selling nearly 1.7 million vinyl records , more than Harry Styles (719,000 sales) and The Beatles. (553,000 sales) combined.