Nostalgia is in.
As the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) generates its mid-year report, it looks like vinyl records are on the way to outselling CD units for the first time in over 30 years.
Currently, vinyl records have earned $224.2 million off of 8.6 million units sold in the first half of 2019 getting close to the figure of $247.9 million that CD sales made off of 18.6 million units sold. The report reveals that vinyl revenue grew by 12.8 percent in the second half of 2018 and by 12.9 percent in the first half of 2019 while CD revenue remained practically stagnant.
Should vinyl continue on its upward trend, it will soon generate more revenue than CD sales. Last year, the RIAA reported that CD sales were dropping three times as fast as vinyl sales were growing with the latter accounting for more than one-third of the revenue coming from physical releases.
The last time that vinyl records ever outsold CDs was in 1986 when LPs moved 58.8 million units compared to 18.6 million CD units. Once the paradigm shifted, it was former RIAA spokesperson Patricia Heimers who assured the masses that the LP wouldn't be so easily forgotten.
"The compact disc is not going to kill the LP," Heimers told the Orlando Sentinel in '86. "Everyone is acting prematurely in predicting the LP's demise. It's going to be around for a long time. All these choices can live comfortably alongside each other."
Now, thanks to an increasing interest in the aesthetics of nostalgia, Heimers' prediction is ringing true.