The demand for vinyl records has certainly skyrocketed in recent years. While some may perceive the trend as a fad, the format continues to prove its staying power — perhaps now more than ever — as the first half of 2021 saw an explosion in vinyl sales.
Revenue generated from the purchase of vinyl records increased by 94% in the first half of 2021 over the same period last year, according to a mid-year report by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Overall sales jumped to a $467 million value stateside.
With the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as regulations that forced record stores to shut down and delivery services to slow to a near halt, it was to be expected that once the world began to slowly reopen earlier this year, sales would increase for not only vinyl, but other forms of music consumption. In fact, revenue for recorded music in the States increased by 27% for the first half of 2021, with subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify and Apple music being a key contributing factor. Those subscriptions account for over two thirds of the increase – and for the first time ever, the United States has seen the number of paid streaming subscriptions jump to over 80 million.
As sales of physical music media including vinyl records continue to increase, digital music downloads saw a decrease in the first six months of 2021. They only account for roughly 5% of the overall surge in music consumption, with individual track downloads down 12% from the same period in 2020.