Vinyl Records Estimated to Outsell CD's For The First Time Since 1986

September 9, 2019

In the digital era in which buying a physical album can feel more like a chore than the very convenient instant-download, more artists are deciding to treat their vinyl releases by adding all sorts of exclusive merch and art. Over time this practice has lead to a milestone in vinyl's resurgence: it is about to outsell CD's for the first time since 1986.

According to AltPress, the Recording Insdustry Association of America's (RIAA) mid-year sales report, vinyl record sales have been up by 12.8% in late 2018 and 12.9% by June 2019. However, CD sales have not grown at all. The report shows that there has been a total of $224.1 million in vinyl sales, trailing behind the $247.9 million of CD sales. If this trend continues, vinyl records will be on track to outsell CD's for the first time since 1986.

Vinyl records aren't the only musical format experiencing a comeback. Cassettes have seen an increase in popularity with 118,200 units sold in 2019 as compared to the 99,400 sold in 2018.

Record Store Day is also seen as a contributor to the growing popularity in vinyl records in which bands can release limited-edition records that fans can purchase as collectable items.