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Vinyl Records Outsell CDs for the Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, vinyl records have outsold CDs, solidifying their resurgence and popularity among music enthusiasts seeking physical media after tiring of the maze of streaming options.

The Verge reports that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has released its annual report, revealing that vinyl records have outsold CDs for the second consecutive year. In 2023, 43 million vinyl records were purchased, surpassing the 37 million CDs sold during the same period. This marks a significant milestone, as it is only the second time since 1987 that vinyl has outperformed CDs in terms of unit sales.

The resurgence of vinyl has been a steady trend over the past 17 years, with sales consistently growing year after year. The tactile experience of handling a vinyl record, the nostalgic appeal, and the perceived superior sound quality have all contributed to this remarkable comeback. Collectors and music enthusiasts alike have embraced the format, with many seeking out special edition records and rare finds to add to their collections.

Interestingly, vinyl records have not only outsold CDs in terms of units but have also generated significantly more revenue. According to the RIAA report, vinyl sales amounted to an impressive $1.4 billion, more than doubling the $537 million generated by CD sales. This can be attributed to the higher price point of vinyl records compared to CDs, as well as the willingness of fans to invest in a format they perceive as offering a superior listening experience.

Despite the success of vinyl and the slight increase in CD revenue, streaming remains the dominant force in the music industry. Paid subscriptions, digital radio services, and ad-supported platforms accounted for a staggering 84 percent of music revenue in 2023, amounting to approximately $14.4 billion. This figure represents a record high for streaming revenue, showcasing the continued shift towards digital consumption.

The music industry, however, faces new challenges in the form of AI. Mitch Glazier, CEO of the RIAA, expressed concerns about the potential impact of AI on the “dynamic growth and cultural reach” of music. The industry is grappling with issues such as AI-generated lyrics and voice clones, which could potentially disrupt traditional creative processes and revenue streams. Breitbart News recently reported on the newly passed ELVIS Act, a Tennessee law intended to protect musicians and artists from AI.



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