Vinyl sales increased in the United States by 30% throughout 2020
04.03.2021

Vinyl sales increased in the United States by 30% throughout 2020

Words by Chloe Karis

Despite streaming's market dominance, the vinyl revival just keeps raging on.

This week, the RIAA released their annual year-end music industry revenue report for 2020, offering an intriguing snapshot of the state of America’s recording industry during the height of the pandemic.

Catch up on all the latest music industry news here.

Despite the devastating impacts of the virus upon the country, the US recorded music industry’s revenue grew by 9.2%, accounting to $12.2 billion in 2020. Revenues from recorded music at wholesale value increased by 8.9% totalling to $8 billion.

While COVID-19 restrictions and retail store closures made an impact on trade, total revenues from physical products decreased by a slim 0.5% in 2020, earning $1.1 billion. Vinyl sales increased by 28.7% to account for a total of $626 million, and for the first time since 1986, revenues from vinyls were greater than CDs. It’s not surprising vinyl sales have increased, considering some albums have limited multiple releases through via records. Meanwhile, revenue continue to drop for CDs, with sales declining by 23% this year to equal $483 million in 2020.

The RIAA’s year-end report indicates streaming remains the primary revenue since 2018, increasing by 13.4% earning a whole $10.1 billion last year via platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Vevo, YouTube and more. Paid streaming services reached a record number of subscriptions, having its biggest growth in a single year, rising by $15 million, totalling $75.5 million in 2020, with the streaming category including music license revenues from Facebook and streaming fitness services for the first time.

Elsewhere, digital downloads also declined in 2020 by 18% earning $674 million, with permanent album downloads decreasing by 23% and totalling $320 million while individual track sales fell by 23%, accounting to $313 million all up.

You can read more details of the year-end report here. It should be interesting seeing the Australian figures when ARIA releases the 2020 report soon – stay tuned for more news when it lands.

What’s all the fuss around records about anyway? Revisit our breakdown of the vinyl revival here.