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Vinyl expected to outsell CD's for first time in over 30 years

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 14:58:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The resurgence of vinyl records wasn't just a fad apparently.

The introduction of CDs and digital formats was supposed to be the end of vinyl records, but the industry is thriving and poised to outsell CD's in 2019.

The numbers come from the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) mid-year report, released in 2019.

In the first half of 2019, 8.9 million records were sold making $224.1 million in revenue and 18.6 million CDs were sold making $247.9 million. Vinyl revenue has grown 12.9% while CD sales have barely moved at all. This could easily trend towards vinyl outselling CDs for the first time since 19

Carlos Cooper, one of the founders of local favorite Hybrid Records has noticed the trend in Corpus Christi, especially among young people.

"The culture locally around records has definitely changed," Cooper said. "There's a lot more young people getting into it, whether seriously or casually, and the demand has grown a lot. I also feel like there's a lot more people out buying records with intention to discover something."

Streaming services still account for an overwhelming majority of the music industries profits, but don't count vinyl out. Cooper has noticed several factors that might be contributing to the growth of vinyl over CDs.

"When Napster and Limewire and all the ways to download music for free really started to take off, everyone thought it was amazing that we could have anything we wanted and not have to buy it." Cooper said, "But then people realized that's a kind of hollow, unfulfilling way to consume any art."

After 10 years in the vinly game, Cooper and his customers have come to care about music differently.

"There's a much deeper appreciation for something you can hold, something that's tangible. Then people realized that they wanted to be a more active participant in their relationship with the music they loved."

One thing we know for sure is that vinyl isn't going anywhere.