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Vinyl LP sales pass CDs for the first time in over 30 years

While digital streaming may still be the most popular way for listening to music, analogue technology has been making a comeback for several years.

A report from the Recording Industry Association of America shows 84 per cent of recorded music revenues in 2022 were from streaming, with physical copies at 11 per cent.

However, within physical copies data shows revenue rose four per cent from 2021, generating over $1.7 billion. The biggest change was in vinyl sales, which outsold CDs for the first time since 1987.

Revenues for vinyl grew 17 per cent, generating $1.2 billion in the U.S., according to the report. They add vinyl outsold CDs in units as well with 41 million compared to 33 million

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It is not just in the U.S. where the stats are reflected.

Lisa Frisk, owner of The B Side Record Shop in Trail, is experiencing the phenomenon firsthand.

“It is exciting,” she said. “We definitely are seeing a lot of different ages, different generations coming in, some looking to start their collections, some adding to their collections, some re-starting collections they got rid of years ago.”

Frisk said it helps that modern artists are pressing their releases on vinyl.

“Whether we love her or not, Taylor Swift has really helped the sale of vinyl in mainstream pop music,” Frisk said. “When she rereleased one of her albums on vinyl, she sold hundreds of thousands in one week. When her latest album came out, it caused a frenzy within the record store community.

“Artists like that who are huge global superstars have made an impact on a younger generation getting into vinyl.”

Events like Record Store Day, on April 22, which celebrate independent shops, have also helped bring back a culture of record stores and the physical experience of record-shopping, she said.

She’ll be marking the one-year anniversary of her ownership of the store on May 11.

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