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Vinyl record sales about to overtake CDs

Tony Yoo
Vinyl records are seen during Record Store Day at RPM Records in Marrickville, Sydney, Saturday, April 21, 2018.
RPM Records in Marrickville, Sydney. (AAP Image/Jeremy Ng)

Vinyl record sales are set to overtake CD album sales next year, according to a projection by Australian Recording Industry Association.

While an overwhelming majority of music these days is purchased as a digital file or stream, vinyl records seem to be making a comeback for their nostalgia value.

And sales trends in Australia suggest by next year vinyl records, which have been around since the 19th century, will sell better compared to the much more recent CDs.

ARIA statistics sighted by Yahoo Finance show this year vinyl discs will take up 5.9 per cent of the market and compact discs 8.33 per cent. But by next year, vinyl is predicted to contribute 6.6 per cent, while CDs would fall to 5.4 per cent.

Ten years ago compact discs ruled Australia, with 72 per cent of music sold through that format.

This demand for the vinyl is also reflected in the second-hand market, with rare discs fetching a fortune for its owners – including one record worth $354,000.

JB Hi-Fi website showing the album Igor by Tyler The Creator on sale for $39.99 on vinyl and $19.99 on compact disc.
(Image: JB Hi-Fi)

The sheer size of vinyl, which allow plenty of creativity on the accompanying sleeve, graphics and artist notes, may be attracting buyers to physical elements missing in digital music.

"If you're releasing your own material and designing your own artwork it gives you a chance to stand out. Also, it opens up the merchandise experience at live shows," Mushroom Music Publishing senior consultant Ian James told Fairfax Media.

"A lot of music fans find the digital experience to be detached."

Vinyl is also a better earner for music labels and retailers. For example, US rapper Tyler The Creator's new album Igor sells for $19.99 on CD, but fans will fork out $39.99 for the vinyl version.

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