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Vinyl records market in Gdansk

Source: NurPhoto / Getty

Here is some news that is honestly shocking to hear right now. Digital music has been outselling physical formats since 2012, then streaming came around and is now king.

According to a report from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), digital downloads are now dead last in sales compared to CDs and vinyl and other forms of physical media.

CDs and vinyl aren’t dead yet.

The report points to digital music’s drastic 25% drop in revenue to $1.3 billion in 2017 allowing CDs and vinyl to go back on top of non-streaming formats. All this despite physical shipments dropping 4% and reports of retailers such as Best Buy leaning towards not stocking CDs and vinyl anymore. Streaming isn’t losing its spot at the top no time soon though accounting for almost two-thirds of the US music industry revenue in 2017.

A new streaming service called “limited tier” such as Pandora Plus and Amazon Unlimited Prime are slowly on the rise account for 14 percent of the music streaming market. It was 11 percent in the previous year so expect that number to continually rise.Despite some complaints, the US music industry as a whole is doing very well. Boasting impressive wholesale revenues of $1.1 billion and $ 2 billion in retail. Digital accounts for 14 percent of total music industry revenue and physical bringing in an impressive 17 percent.

In their report, the RIAA points out the vinyl is still cool among music fans and is  “a bright spot among physical formats,”. The world hasn’t given up on physical formats yet despite popular belief.

Photo:  NurPhoto / Getty

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