CD sales were hit hard by the pandemic
In brief: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has published its mid-year 2020 report on the state of the music industry in the US. Among the interesting revelations in the report is the fact that vinyl album sales generated more revenues than CD sales during the six-month period for the first time since the 1980s.
Per the report, vinyl sales brought in just north of $232 million in the first half of 2020 while sales of CDs fell by more than 47 percent year-over-year to $129.9 million. RIAA cited shutdown measures at retailers and live venues as the primary reason for the sharp decline in physical product sales.
That said, vinyl sales still only accounted for four percent of total music industry revenues for the period.
Unsurprisingly, streaming music continues to be the driving force of the industry. It accounted for a whopping 85 percent of total music industry revenues in the first half, or $4.8 billion. That’s up from $4.3 billion in the first half of 2019 and $3.4 billion during the first six months of 2018.
The total number of paid music subscriptions in the US, meanwhile, climbed to 72.1 million from just 58.2 million during the same period a year ago.