Americans seem to be listening to more vinyl records amid the pandemic.
In fact, vinyl outsold CDs for the first time since the 1980s, according to a recently released mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America. The report underscoring the state of the U.S. music industry captured how people’s music listening has changed during the coronavirus crisis.
With people having more time on their hands due to COVID-19 lockdowns, music streaming, which includes revenue from paid services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon, grew 12% to $4.8 billion in the first half of 2020.
The average number of paid music subscriptions was 72 million, up 24% compared to the first-half average for 2019, according to the report.
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But the most striking trend was that American music listeners spent more money on vinyl records than CDs during the period marked by retail store closures and tour cancellations.
Vinyl revenue was up 4% while CD revenue was down 48%, the RIAA found.
Data from Billboard also suggests that Americans are feeling the nostalgia of vinyl. The first week in September marked the biggest week in 2020 for album sales, and vinyl record sales have been growing for 14 years straight.
Despite the rise in vinyl listening, overall physical sales dropped 23% to $376 million during the first half of the year as Americans lost jobs and concerts were canceled, according to the RIAA data.
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