Vinyl Outselling CDs In US For First Time Since 1980s

The vinyl edition of a live Muddy Waters album.
Photo credit Jim Taylor/KCBS Radio

For a lot of people, vinyl never went away.

It is officially back, outselling compact discs in the U.S. for the first time since the 1980s. That’s according to new data released this month by the Recording Industry Association of America.

In fact, vinyl accounted for 62% of physical music sold.

For the first time since 1986, vinyl albums ▶️ CD’s (by -- ). While, #Covid19 was enormously difficult for record stores, overall vinyl sales for the first half of 2020 grew 4% despite decline in Q2. #RIAAMusicData https://t.co/1JOmXOckn9 pic.twitter.com/7SeZY5sIlp

— RIAA (@RIAA) September 10, 2020

Some have always said the sound of CDs was never as good as pressed vinyl.

"Well, that’s an age-old debate. People say vinyl is warmer."

Joe Goldmark took a break from working to get San Francisco’s famous Amoeba Music reopened this week, much to the delight of music fans.

"It’s enough to keep a place like us in business," Goldmark said of Amoeba, which is opening again this Thursday.

Most stuff is streamed now.

In all, streaming accounted for 85% of revenue in the first half of 2020, generating about $5 billion.