The sale of vinyl records has decreased by 9.1 per cent year-on-year in the US, according to the Recording Industry of America, dropping from 9.2m sales to 8.4m.

The vinyl resurgence may be nearing its end. Data shared by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA), shows sales in the US for the first half of 2016 were noticeably down on the previous year.

In 2015 9.2m LPs and EPs were sold over the first six months, with associated revenues of $221.1m (167m). At the same point in 2016 that figure is 8.4m records, with revenues down by $14m (£10.6m).

It seems vinyl in 2016 has been sucked into the general decline of physical media. Neither CD, LP, or EP sales have grown over 2016, with overall sales falling by 12 per cent.

This news comes after a recent ICM poll, reported by the BBC, showed that 48 per cent of people buying vinyl weren't actually playing the records, with 7 per cent of people saying they didn't even own a turntable (of course, if you know one of those people, we have some recommendations for them).

Vinyl sales earned more than streaming in 2015, while CD sales, at 123.3 million units compared to 17.4 million, still dwarfed sales of vinyl in the US last year.

MORE: Jack White has built a turntable to play a record in space


Benedict_Arnold's picture

I think Best Buy US may be phasing out its physical media sales

Floor space in stores devoted to CD, DVD and Blu-Ray shelves has fallen dramatically in the 16 years I've been in the US, but now it's down to just a few shelves full of the usual "blockbusters". I suspect it's down to the effects of media streaming and people like me just ordering their media at the lower prices on Amazon.
I don't think physical media sales will entirely disappear in my lifetime, but it will be a close run thing...

Friesiansam's picture

So the vinyl revival was a

So the vinyl revival was a flash in the pan, like most fashions. Digital formts are so much more convenient to store and use.

Michael Fremer's picture

Keep dreaming it

What a ridiculous comment. First of all, sales are UP this year but not as much as they were up last year. This is hardly a "flash in the pan". Yes digital is more convenient so is fast food. So what? 

vpconcepts's picture

Those numbers don't sound right

All I know is that when I go to any store selling Vinyl, it is always packed. I myself have purchased over 50 records the past 6 months along with 20CDs. I do listen to them all. Here in Las Vegas the Vinyl craze is everywhere! Even Whole Foods caries Vinyl! Went into Starbucks to get a coffe inside Barnes and Noble..what is displayed?..Vinyl! Just look at those CD sales numbers. Tired of being told CD is dead when it's pulling in those dollars! Just my 3 cents Smile

Michael Fremer's picture

You are Correct

This is a statistical manipulation. Sales are UP but so far this near not as much as they were UP last year. 

Graham Luke's picture


It would be interesting to correlate the above Revenues by Format graph with one illustrating the sales volume of beard-grooming products, year on year.

Olivier Charland's picture

Price gouging

The industry has a good way of bringing more people into buying physical media again (long term) but instead prefers to increase its profit short term based on the hype of vinyls. With the price gouging they are shooting themselves in the foot... Some vinyls are well priced but some others are outrageously priced, with nothing special...

Michael Fremer's picture

Ridiculous statistics

Vinyl sales are actually UP this year so far folks, but not as much as they were UP last year so the rate of growth has slowed for the first half of 2016 THAT IS ALL. This is about as accurate as "records are bought only be hipsters who will move on to the next thing next week" and "little girls buy records to hang on the wall and don't play them." Let's wait for year end sales to see where it's at and stop paying attention to this kind of B.S. By the way, the sales numbers are way inaccurate. Last year approximately 80 MILLION records were actually pressed and I don't think for sitting on shelves. They were pressed to meet a projected demand, and inventories are kept lean panic.

Graham Luke's picture

No panic...?

Thanks, buddy; I'm just holding it together...

Michael Pettit's picture

Enough with the Editorializing

Vinyl sales are not down, vinyl growth is slowing. Big difference. As physical media declines, vinyl is becoming a larger fish in a shrinking pond.

48% of people buying records aren't not playing them. The survey asked some people who had purchased a record one month if they had played it yet, and half hadn't. Big whoop.

The phonograph was invented in 1877. Vinyl has been with us for almost 14 decades, and will be here for many years to come.

Robin Landseadel's picture

Reality Check

Vinyl was used for commercial recordings starting in 1949 with the roll-out of the long-play record. There have been continuous developements in sound recording and reproduction for 14 decades but the LP has been with us for a little less than 70 years. In any case, there are inherent technical limitations with the LP format. Whatever it may be, the Vinyl Long Play record is not the future. Most of its pleasures are nostalgic. I'm sure Mikey's wall of high-end audio gear can extract an exqusite sound from those black platters. For the rest of us mere mortals, the sound of an eccentric LP, once heard, cannot be unheard. A $7 original of a semi-popular rock record probablly will have been played on a record spinner with a worn out stylus. And so on. Not perfect, not perfectable and usually nowhere near justifying the hype.