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Vinyl Sales Top CD Sales For The First Time Since 1986

The resurgence of vinyl continues, with money spent on vinyl records surpassing sales of compact discs for the first time in 34 years.

Money spent on vinyl LPs and EPs came to US$231.1 million in the US for the first half of 2020, easily beating the $129.9 million spent on CDs.

As Bloomberg reports, it’s the first time since 1986 that vinyl has been higher than CDs in America.

It’s probably no surprise. While we all had that one mate in the 2000s that insisted the sound quality was better on his dodgy record player, the format has been booming in recent years and bands are releasing cool and custom-designed vinyl LPs to keep up with the growing market for collectors.

While these numbers are for the US specifically, it’s likely that Australia won’t be too far behind on the trend line, with ARIA CEO Dan Rosen tipping last year that Aussies will be buying more vinyl than CDs by the end of 2020.

According to that report, vinyl sales peaked in Australia in 1987 when the format was raking in $80 million a year.

That had dipped to just $2 million in 2007, but by 2019 it had bounced back to $20 million annually.

“The rise of vinyl underlines how much people love music. Music fans still want something to hold and cherish, and everything we see tells us that this trend will continue in the years to come,” Rosen said last year.

Bloomberg says that vinyl sales have been rising steadily in the US since 2005, with a combination of nostalgia and a love of the hi-fidelity sound helping push the market higher.

The proof can also be seen in Australia’s ARIA music charts, with the release of a vinyl edition of the ANZAC Day charity concert Music From The Home Front pushing the album back to the top of the ARIA Albums Chart this week.

“It’s hard to believe that four and a half months after Music From The Home Front first etched its moment in history, the long-awaited release of the triple vinyl album, together with the CD and downloads, returns this fantastic album back to #1 on the ARIA chart,” said Mushroom Group boss Michael Gudinski.

“It’s an amazing testament to all the artists and people involved.”

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