Vinyl Records Are Back With a Very Lucrative Revival
Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

It seems like only yesterday that those of us who grew up with cassettes and compact discs had to embark on a crusade to collect vinyl records of our favorite artists.

Now, our favorite format is back on the scene with an economic revival that surprises everyone.

Despite multiple music streaming services, it appears that vinyl records are continuing to make a comeback. On Sept. 21, RIAA revealed their mid-year revenue statistics – surprisingly, there was a 22 percent increase in vinyl record sales.

“After remarkable growth in 2021 compared with a Covid-19 shutdown impacted the previous year, vinyl records continued to rise in the first half of 2022,” the new report found. “Revenues from vinyl albums grew 22% to $570 million, and vinyl’s share of the physical market increased from 68% to 73%.”

Whether it’s based on nostalgia or aesthetics, this growth supports that vinyl records are becoming a throwback phenomenon. The value of vinyl records is clear, too – Music Times details five relatable reasons why they’re becoming popular again. This includes the vinyl record’s superior quality effect, the diverse audiophiles, the physical ownership of it, the buying experience, and the value of the record.

On the other hand, the same report showed that CDs’ revenue declined 2 percent to $200 million and made up 26 percent of all physical revenues. It remains unclear if CDs will make the same revival – but many music writers are speculating about it to happen.

Of course, paid music streaming services are the go-to. In fact, it grew 10 percent to $5.0 billion in the first half of 2022. This translates to a value account of 78 percent of streaming. Per the report, the total includes $525 million in revenues from paid subscriptions (the report notes that this includes services limited by factors such as mobile access, catalog availability, on-demand limitations, or device restrictions). Data shows that paid subscription-type services (Amazon Prime, Pandora Plus, etc.) make up 10 percent of subscription revenues.

Talking about paid subscriptions, let’s dive into paid on-demand music streaming services. They actually reached a record high of 90 million, increasing 10 percent from last year.

Another interesting statistic is that the U.S. recorded music revenues increased 9 percent to $7.7 billion at an estimated value in the first half of 2022. The report points out that it has shown “strong growth” since last year.

You can read the complete data of the mid-year 2022 RIAA Revenue Statistics report here.