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Topic: Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running (Read 6928 times) previous topic - next topic
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Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running

People bought 43 million vinyl records last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). That’s 6 million more than the number of CDs sold in 2023, marking the second time since 1987 that’s happened and reflecting the steady 17-year-running growth of vinyl sales.

Vinyl, which tends to be pricier than the newer format, also far outstripped CDs in actual money made, raking in $1.4 billion compared to $537 million from CDs. The RIAA’s report shows that CD revenue was up, too, but in terms of physical products sold, people actually bought about 700,000 fewer CDs in 2023 than the year before. (If you’re curious, nearly half a million cassettes sold last year, too, according to Billboard.)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running

Reply #1
Non-vinyl audiophiles are still buying music, just mostly online. Non-audiophiles just listen to whatever wherever as usual. There's no network barrier as the files are pretty small.

More interesting in the physical vs digital purchasing stats are films and games, where the highest quality film or a standard AAA game can approach and exceed 100GB. Studios that release a 150GB game as a digital download really need to start making 4k uncompressed textures modular so that people with subpar internet aren't locked out. Modular should be a standard, 4k textures should be presented as a free "expansion pack" or whatever.

Re: Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running

Reply #2
Vinyl is probably following a cyclical fad just like yoyos for teen and pre-teen boys.
The things deemed as old and outdated by a previous generation can be seen as new, funky, otherworldly by the next one, especially if the colours and marketing are jazzed up a little. We humans have to always go through this process.

Re: Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running

Reply #3
I think a good proportion of the vinyl revival group are those in their 40s & 50s that experienced the change from vinyl to CD in the late 80s and 90s. They now have disposable income, the kids are older and have left home and they want to get back to their childhood/teenhood by reminiscing - but this time actually doing it - with slabs of wax thrown on a record player that they sit down and listen to all the way through. Rather than the digital options that bombard us with millions of songs that you can't decide which to listen to. All this is fine of course. I get it. I'm also being somewhat facetious in this assessment, but still think it fits.

As someone in their mid-to-late 40s I've not had a desire to "get back to my roots" with vinyl (and that's coming from someone that raved in the 90s mostly to DJs using vinyl - and I still love it when a DJ today is mixing only with vinyl). I personally prefer either CDs or the lossless downloads via artist websites and/or bandcamp. No need to try and transfer from vinyl to digital for "out of lounge listening". I can simply transcode to lossy files and throw on my phone.

I have owned vinyl (sold the couple of handfuls I had a couple of years ago), but apart from the larger artwork (which is lovely) I've never understood the love for it. But that's just me. I'm fine with others loving it and enjoying it. I think some of it is also a hobby - over and above music being a love and hobby; I mean the collecting of vinyl.

Finally, and somewhat ironically, I've purchased maybe 20 cassette tapes over the past couple of years lol. BUT these are niche tapes (DJ mixes from the 90s) that have never existed in any other format, so I'm transferring them to digital to hear and preserve them. Most vinyl bought these days is available on CD and/or digitally (although some artists do still only create vinyl-only releases).


Re: Article: Vinyl records outsell CDs for the second year running

Reply #4
Oddly enough, it's not the older crowd I see at the record stores, It's younger people and more on the fringe. We have several record stores and the busiest one, Sloth Records, caters mostly to the alternative crowd. I think there's a point in life when people are all excited about collecting the music they like. Of course, all the labels rushed to reissue their collections in vinyl too. However, it seems to me that people aren't buying much mainstream vinyl but there's a lot of vinyl being sold that's coming from smaller labels. As well, there's a very large amount of vinyl resales going on at Discogs and eBay. Used record stores are doing ok too. Vinyl seems to have become a small sustainable niche for both artists and audience.

Me, I don't care, I rip and listen to anything, I'm not fussy. ;~)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)