Vinyl records set to outsell CDs in 2021, according to Australian Recording Industry Association | Ralph Lauren

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Vinyl records are on track to outsell compact discs this year.

Wholesale figures released by the Australian Recording Industry Association reveal that music lovers bought $29.3 million worth of the platters that matter last year, compared to $30.6m of the once dominant CD.

Vinyl rose a remarkable 32 per cent, while sales of CDs plummeted 17 per cent.

In 2010, CDs made up 65 per cent of the Australian music market, while 20 years ago record stores flogged $758 million worth of the shiny discs sold in fragile jewel cases.

Last year, they only made up 5.6 per cent of the music market with vinyl spinning around 5.4 per cent.

The vast majority of revenue for the record industry came via streaming services, which poured $445m into the $542m overall market.

However the year-on-year rise of 14 per cent in 2020 more than halved the increase of streaming in 2019.

ARIA announced the recorded music market grew by 7.3 per cent in 2020, its sixth straight year of improvement after bottoming out at $318m in 2014.

The rise, which saw increases in revenue from streaming and vinyl more than offset significant drops in CDs and digital downloads, is in line with global trends.

ARIA said that the growth reflects “the important role that music played for Australians going through a very challenging year with numerous lockdowns and widespread uncertainty due to COVID-19”.

The peak body noted that the wider music industry was suffering due to the shutdown of live music in March last year and subsequent struggle to recover amid financially crippling restrictions.

And while ARIA is upbeat about the rise in revenue for the recording industry, few Australian artists would be celebrating as their main source of income remains in limbo.

On Wednesday, the Byron Bay Bluesfest, one of the biggest events on the Australian music festival calendar scheduled to be held over Easter, was cancelled due to a locally acquired case of coronavirus.



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