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Vinyl Record Sales Surpassed CDs Last Year for the First Time in Decades

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As someone who has collected vinyl since high school, I think this is awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I like CDs and cassettes too (I don’t currently have any 8-tracks), but I prefer vinyl records.

I just honestly believe they sound the best out of all formats.

In 2019, people bought $224 million worth of vinyl records. This was the first time since 1986 that vinyl outsold CDs.

That’s a long time for a medium to spend on the outs before it stages a takeover from its replacement format, don’t you think?

Vinyl has been competing with CDs, cassettes, and now with digital music for many years, but a resurgence in the popularity of records along with annual events like Record Store Day have made vinyl a hot commodity again over the past several years. Records have gone from practically obsolete, to objects of desire once again.

In the week that ended on December 26, 2019, 1.243 million vinyl albums were sold – the first time that’s happened since Nielsen began tracking music data in 1991.

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Recent arrivals to the shop! Lots of jazz!

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And it isn’t one generation that’s making up a bulk of the vinyl sales; Millennials and Generation Z folks are just as likely to buy records as Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers. Plus, people are buying records from artists across many generations. Currently, some of the biggest-selling vinyl artists are Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Beatles, and Queen.

Just for fun, I’d like to include some of my favorite record stores across the country. Check these folks out online or in-person if you’re in the area!

Creme Tangerine Records in Costa Mesa, California.

Premium Sound in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence, Kansas.

Go buy some records!