Vinyl Records Outsell CDs for the First Time in 35 Years
For the first time since the mid-80s vinyl records are outselling CDs. For the first half of 2020, old-school albums made $232 million in music sales. CDs accounted for about $130 million. It might seem like rather surprising news, but vinyl and CDs have been trending in these opposite directions for a number of years now.
CDs (compact discs) were first introduced to the public in 1982, and by the mid-80s they were the most popular form of listening to music on the planet. They seemed like the obvious replacement for records, which most believed had their day in the sun. After all, records had been around for commercial use since the early 1930s, so the public was ready for something new. Eight track tapes and later cassette tapes didn't quite take the crown from records, but with compact discs, they finally met their match.
As the 80s turned into the 90s, CDs ruled over all other competitors, selling hundreds of billions worldwide. But vinyl never truly went away for good. Collecting vinyl became a hobby for many people throughout the country who preferred the sound of vinyl to that of CDs. Although CDs are in a digital format, most vinyl fans would say that the sound you hear on a record is a much fuller sound and better represents what the artist who made it intended.
As the digital age began, CDs gradually began to lose their popularity, while sales of vinyl continued to grow. These days, vinyl collecting has a large following, and almost every decent-sized town in the U.S. has a record store to check out. Vinyl's not going anywhere, anytime soon, and that's a very good thing.