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Elvert Barnes/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

Vinyl made more money than free streaming in 2015

And it wasn't close.


Rae Votta


Posted on Mar 24, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:16 am CDT

For artists seeking a financial boon from their fans, it might be more important to get them to buy vinyl than watch their YouTube videos, according to new statistics.

On Tuesday the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released information that for U.S.-based revenue, vinyl sales outpace income from all free-to-consumer streaming services combined. This includes YouTube, Vevo, Spotify, SoundCloud, and all others.

Vinyl sold $433.2 million across EPs, LPs, and singles in 2015, compared to the revenue generated by streaming services only hitting $385.1 million. Vinyl sales grew 32 percent from 2014.

The statistic doesn’t take into account paid revenue from streaming services, like YouTube Music, paid Spotify, and others. If you add in paid streaming, which brought in 10.8 million consumers contributing to $1.2 billion in revenue in 2015, vinyl falls far behind. However, the resurgence of vintage technology speaks to a subset of consumers who are willing to invest in physical copies of their music at higher prices to coincide with quality, which is outpacing a general public happy to consume music at lower quality with ads included.

H/T Digital Music News | Photo via Elvert Barnes/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Mar 24, 2016, 3:44 pm CDT