For the first time since 1987, vinyl sold more units than CDs in the US, according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Music fans bought more than 41 million vinyl units last year compared to 33 million CDs — up 3% from 40 million units in 2021. Meanwhile, CD sales were down 28% from 47 million.
Per Luminate, Taylor Swift moved the most vinyl units in 2022 by selling a whopping 945,000 copies of Midnights, followed by Harry Styles’ Harry’s House (480,000), Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR (263,000), Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city (254,000), and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (243,000).
However, streaming brought in the great bulk of revenue in 2022, making up 84% of the all-time high of $15.9 billion overall. According to the report, the average number of paid subscribers grew to 92 million, up from 84 million in 2021. Meanwhile, ad-supported streaming revenue from platforms like YouTube and the free version of Spotify grew 6% to $1.8 billion.
“2022 was an impressive year of sustained ‘growth-over-growth’ more than a decade after streaming’s explosion onto the music scene,” said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier in a statement. “Continuing that long run, subscription streaming revenues now make up two-thirds of the market with a record high $13.3 billion. This long and ongoing arc of success has only been possible thanks to the determined and creative work of record companies fighting to build a healthy streaming economy where artists and rights-holders get paid wherever and whenever their work is used.”
If you want to add to your own vinyl collection, Record Store Day 2023 is coming up on April 22nd. See our list of 30 must-have releases here.