Vinyl and Digital Downloads Surge, CD's Wane in 2011

Vinyl and Digital Downloads Surge, CD's Wane in 2011

Gregory Han
Jan 6, 2012

Here are two interesting, divergent statistics about how we consume music: for the first time ever digital downloads surpassed physical music sales, while on the other end of the spectrum, LP vinyl sales saw a resurgence with a 39% gain compared to 2010. It seems the iPod Generation has rediscovered the joys of vinyl, love the convenience of digital downloads, and are ditching purchasing CDs...

The 39% increase according to Nielsen Soundscan reflects the rediscovered popularity of vinyl amongst younger generations (aka hipsters and hip-hop aficionados). In reality the numbers are a drop in the buck, with only 3.9 million in sales, or just 1.2% in total album sales for the year. But the statistic is still impressive considering vinyl was once pinned for complete extinction.

On the flip side, music buyers continue their migration away from physical media and downloaded over a 100 million albums (or 1.27 billion individual digital tracks) in 2011. That's a 8.4% jump from 2010, according to the annual sales report from Nielsen and Billboard.

[Chart: Digital Music News]

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