WaPo – CDs, vinyl are outselling digital downloads for the first time since 2011



  • Digital downloads had a short run as the top-selling format in the music industry
  • took until 2011 for their sales surpass those of CDs and vinyl records … overtaken by music streaming services just a few years later
  • digital downloads are again being outsold by CDs and vinyl per RIAA
  • revenue from digital downloads declined 25 percent to $1.3 billion over the previous year
  • Revenue from physical products fell 4 percent to $1.5 billion
  • music industry grew for the second straight year with $8.7 billion in total revenue … healthiest it has been since 2008
  • Nearly all the growth was the result of the paid music subscription services  … grew by more than 50 percent to $5.7 billion over last year
  • Subscription 2/3’s of revenue, 17% physical media, digital downloads 15%
  • Music sales business only 60% of its peak size from about 10 years ago
  • outlook for digital downloads is bleak … 3rd year in a row they’ve posted double-digit declines
  • CD shipments continued their years-long decline, falling 6 percent
  • vinyl sales were up 10 percent to $395 million

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