Back to the Future - Sales of Vinyl Overtake the CD - 96five Family Radio

Back to the Future – Sales of Vinyl Overtake the CD

After steady growth in sales over the past few years, the vinyl record has finally surpassed the CD in physical sales, but it's digital that still dominates sales figures.

By Justin RouillonMonday 28 Mar 2022MusicReading Time: 2 minutes

The Australian recorded music industry hit a 15-year high in 2021 according to a recent report from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

And although video, digital streaming and subscriptions services make up the vast amount with 90 per cent of sales, there’s one interesting element in the report.

The vinyl record, which has been on the rise for many years now, has finally outstripped sales of CD’s in the physical sales segment, with $29.7 million, compared with $24.9 million for CD albums.

In 2020, CD album sales were slightly higher than vinyl album sales.

Overall the figures released by ARIA reveal a 15 year high, with wholesale sales of $565.8 million in 2021, up 4.4% from $542 million in 2020 and up 20.7% from $468.7 million in 2017.

ARIA Chief Executive Officer, Annabelle Herd (supplied).

ARIA Chief Executive Officer, Annabelle Herd, said: “It is fantastic to see continued growth in the Australian recording industry, which remains a top 10 market globally. This speaks to the growing value of the sector as a serious economic contributor, but also underscores the fact that music continues to be part of the fabric of Australian lives.”

The growth in vinyl sales has led to ARIA creating a seperate chart for releases on vinyl, with the sales increase not lost on the ARIA CEO.

“The vinyl market is an increasingly important player as our market evolves, affording music fans across generations the opportunity to add classics to their collection, but also for fans of new music to have a greater sense of connection and ownership toward recordings they love.

“It is in important sector for independent artists, DJs and emerging subcultures that deserves serious recognition.”