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Vinyl sales overtake CDs for the first time since 1987

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For the first time since 1987, vinyl sales have overtaken in CDs as interest in the format continues to grow.

The growth has been consecutive for the last seven years. According to data from the Recording Industry Association of America, U.S. vinyl sales reached 41.3 million in 2022, compared to 33.4 million CDs sold in the same year.

"I've always been a fan of physical media, especially vinyl. It's really nice to see a lot of people coming back to it," Ian Fraser, owner of Obsolete Records in Halifax, told CTV National News. "I definitely think people wanted to get into something new or get into a new collection something they can spend their money and really enjoy."

Interest in vinyl saw a boom after start of the pandemic. In 2020, vinyl sales grew 28 per cent from the previous year, and in 2021, sales grew by another 68.8 per cent.

"I have a really wide clientele of super young kids getting into it and older people getting back into it … Everybody's just really excited to be collecting," Fraser said.

These figures still pale in comparison to streaming, which makes up 84 per cent of sales in the music industry. But enthusiasts say nothing beats the unique sound quality, look and feel of owning a vinyl record.

"I think it's sort of a way for people to engage with their favourite artist. Also it's a part of someone's identity," Tom Spence, owner of Renegade Records in Dartmouth, N.S., told CTV National News.

Artists are making less than a penny per stream, but thanks to this vinyl resurgence from new and older artists, experts say record sales will only go up, translating to more fan support for the artist.

"They're adding different songs that are only available in exclusive on vinyl records. In fact Taylor Swift's album 'Midnights' amazingly sold more copies than The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac put together," music industry expert Eric Alper told CTV National News.

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