‘The Insane Resurgence of Vinyl Records’

"Fueled largely by millenial hipsters under the age of 35, the old, outdated format has risen from the dead," argues the Hustle: In the 1970s, vinyl sales peaked at 530 million units per year and accounted for 66% of all music format revenues... [B]y the '90s, vinyl sales dipped to less than 10 million units — a mere 0.1% of market share. In recent years, though, something odd has happened: Vinyl has made a small but mighty comeback... In an age of fleeting digital pleasures, vinyl has quenched a thirst for tangible assets. For each of the past 15 years, sales of new vinyl have gradually increased. In the first half of 2021 alone, 17 million albums were sold — an 86% jump from 2020. In an extremely rare twist, an old technology came back to surpass a newer one. Last year, for the first time since 1986, vinyl records outranked CDs in annual sales. This year, they're on pace to more than double CD revenue... These figures don't even include the millions of used records sold through online marketplaces like Discogs (9 million active listings) and eBay (3.5 million), or at the 1,400 local record stores peppered throughout the U.S. Per Forbes, used vinyl sales are likely 1.5 times those of new records, or about 50 million units based on 2021 projections. 84% of the music industry's revenue now comes from sreaming, the article acknowledges. (And a vinyl record creates 12 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as other music formats.) But for artists, the economics are undeniable. Even though the price of polyvinyl chloride has quadrupled since 2020, "A band would have to amass 450,000 streams on Spotify to match the profit of 100 vinyl sales."

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