According to the RIAA, It doesn't look good for physical media


The RIAA mid-year 2020 report is out and physical media, CDs or LPs, are not doing well. CDs still ship more units (10.6 million to 8.8 million), but LPs have surpassed them in $ amount shipped (CD - $130 million to LP - $232 million) for the first time since the 80s.

CD units shipped fell 45% from the mid-year 2019 report. LP units shipped gained 2.3%. Downloads also fell. Total Streaming revenues were up 12%. Total revenues for all categories were up 5.6%.

https://www.riaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Mid-Year-2020-RIAA-Revenue-Statistics.pdf

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Sad but true. 

It's really hard for me to justify buying music anymore, let alone physical media.
On the bright side, the total is up 5.6%. Very interesting that 85% of the total is streaming. And encouraging that sales are trending up from the 2014 low, which was way down from the historical peak in 1999. By subscribing we are “buying” music! 
I may be one of the very few remaining who love buying and having CDs.  I purchase a lot of them.  A lot.  I like owning music vs renting it.  
CDs still ship more units (10.6 million to 8.8 million), but LPs have surpassed them in $ amount shipped (CD - $130 million to LP - $232 million)

This statement is misleading.
The statistic of dollar amount of LP’s exceeding CD can be explained by higher pricing of LP’s per unit. Vinyl can be more than 2x the price of a CD.

It is inevitable that units of LP will overtake CD.

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Millerc, you have a point, definitely, but as I sit here listening to Steve Earle (who I think is a major a-hole) playing Christmas In Washington on repeat (CD, Luxman SACD D-05u, thru a Lyric integrated out to a pair of JBL L100 classics-my second system) I am a happy person. I do not care about there being a better recording/pressing of this, or any other music, its the pleasure it bring me, and it does. I understand your point, or I think I do, I simply find pleasure all around, even with CDs over this system. Oh my, do I ever love it!
Amount of CDs sold most likely doesn't include used CDs sale.  I tend to buy used on Amazon for the fraction of the price and often receive brand new or just missing cellophane wrapper.  Condition is not that important anyway, since I rip them to HD.  I also copy friends CDs to HD and to Audio CD-Rs.  That way I have legal copy (royalties paid), that is not included in CD sales numbers.
Amount of CDs sold most likely doesn't include used CDs sale.
Ditto vinyl. The used records business is thriving if prices are anything to go by. My Discogs collection value is going up faster than my 401k.
 My Discogs collection value is going up faster than my 401k.
LMFAO.
Priceless!
😂👍
Hopefully LP's keep going up in value! My collection seems to be growing in value also.  On the other hand, a lot of out-of-print items are becoming ridiculously priced in the used market.
When I go deaf or get too grumpy to play vinyl, I’m going to sell the lot to one of the nouveau wealthy who wants an instant collection for his Mag-Lev.
@noromance “Mag-Lev” Haha! Please...
I saw one of those things on a TV commercial about some kinda hipster something or other ad recently. I believe it was on top of a coffee table with a little refrigerator in it. 
Noromance.
I'm already too grumpy.
That's why I play vinyl.
Or that's what the better half is content with me doing.
Keep out of her majesty's way.
Bought virgin vinyl, half-speed mastered Japanese pressings of 1970s classics back in the day. Still unopened cello-wrap. Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and so forth. Of course then I couldn't forese the advent of streaming, so LP/CD play is rare around here these days, which is why these oldies are still pure mint. Now, would they sound better than remastered on Tidal? Depends on which aspect of which cut you're focused on. The remasters often get the balance all wrong: not wrong just because it's different, but wrong because they have no clue what effect (Christine McVie via Keith Olson, let's say) were rightly aiming for. On the other hand, remasters do extend and clarify the bottom end, often with a sacrifice of the the priceless delicacies. On balance, I'd go with my mint condition oldies, given the right "Mag-Lev," per @noromance, to play them on. 

Sorry, the point was value appreciation. So when I abandon this dystopian third-world polis of ours for somewhere vaguely civilized, should any such still exist and be willing to accept us white American equivalents of "Mexican rapists," my U.S. estate auctioneer will be given detailed instructions on how and where to market the audio media and electronic gear.
For my absolute favorite albums, or just albums that I think set a good mood, I do vinyl. For albums that I really enjoy, or maybe just that have a decent number of tracks that I really like, I buy used to CDs and then rip them into FLAC. Everything else I stream. Streaming is great, but listening to music that you actually own I think helps you to digest music in a slower and more thoughtful way.
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This statement is misleading.
The statistic of dollar amount of LP’s exceeding CD can be explained by higher pricing of LP’s per unit. Vinyl can be more than 2x the price of a CD.

How is it misleading? I just stated what each format shipped in units and dollars.

It is inevitable that units of LP will overtake CD.

Yes it is, maybe by the end of this year. But that percentage change year over year for vinyl units shipped isn’t too far from going negative.

Amount of CDs sold most likely doesn’t include used CDs sale.

No, it doesn’t. Nor does the LP number. These are units shipped by the record labels during the first half of 2020.

My Discogs collection value is going up faster than my 401k.

Might be a good time to sell if you want that money. I think there will be more collections going up for sale as more boomers depart. In the last 20 years I've watched bubbles inflate and burst in baseball cards, tech stocks and real estate. I'm sure there have been many others.
My 53 still sealed dbx discs I paid $2 each for in 1990 are up to over $200 now.

I inherited 4000 LPs from my folks, 1/2 still sealed. None of my older brothers and sisters wanted them. Until now. Nope! Not getting them!

My mother worked at Columbia Records 1955-1967. 4000 pristine copies, all labels. Columbia was the largest presser in the world then.
One thing with new vinyl is usually there is also a hi-rez digital download included. Pretty much all I “buy” these days is vinyl. Old and new. I use my NAS, Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music for various other reasons. I rarely listen to anything streaming “critically”. Normally, any of the above are played when doing things around the house, in the car, or at the office. Vinyl is pretty much my “thing” these days.Occasionally, I play a CD, but since most of them are on my NAS as hi-rez files, I usually just play that instead.
@wolfie62 Wow! Lucky.
One thing with new vinyl is usually there is also a hi-rez digital download included.
I don't recall ever getting anything but MP3 download cards in the new vinyl I buy.  I rarely ever use them.  MP3 is not what you're calling "hi-rez" is it?

New vinyl often sucks.  Warped, noisy, poor sound quality... there are some releases that sound fantastic, but for the most part I've started to avoid new releases or current pressings of old releases and do research on Steve Hoffman about what some of the best older pressings are.  That can be a rabbit hole.  Like here, there are varying and directly conflicting opinions.  It can also be detrimental to the wallet, especially if a particular pressing has really been talked up and is out of print.  It can also be much more rewarding than listening to a brand new record that sounds like it's been played 50 times on a Fisher-Price turntable.

Everyone download I’ve received has either been .wav or .flac never MP3. No doubt you have to be discerning with new vinyl.... the majority of mine have been excellent overall. 
There may be a number of files in 44.1k and a number of vinyl mastered in digital and reduced sales overall, but I still get the feeling physical media will be around for a while...practically indefinitely, no matter how low prices drop.

More than 5 yrs ago now, the lawyers that run the world were in the throws of globally getting ready to switch to 'files in the cloud' and ditch physical for good. It should've all already taken place a while ago, according to them at the time. What happened? China...in particular, post-COVID China. Before COVID, the international lawyers were maybe a little leery of China's reputation for intellectual copyright. They decided, apparently, to get everything in position to go ahead with their deal and wait for the international community to perhaps put enough pressure to reign in China's tendency in that regard and, if that had happened, they probably felt they could greenlight the project. 

All that was necessary because the music and media companies, if they committed on that too early with China, stood to lose an unacceptably large portion of profits to pirating...a loosing proposition. So what the music industry, for example, did was to "test" the validity of the concept by allowing a very few file titles to be released in true hi-rez, while the rest were actually 44k (no matter how they were otherwise marketed). Not the lion's share of the total amount of titles available overall...just about, say, 10-15% or so to prove to themselves that the market was there should they decide to commit...should the conditions in the market ever allow them to commit. 

But along comes COVID. Everybody's mad at China. And China drops all pretense of international cooperation. So much for greenlighting this worldwide project anytime soon. The music industry can't afford to commit to financial suicide...which means they are forced to hold off indefinitely their plans to turn off the spigot for physical media. If they stop production now, they will have nothing left they can safely sell. They'll now have to wait who knows how long until they can see the situation has improved...if ever...

So I wouldn't expect the music industry to suddenly "embrace" hi-rez files across the board anytime soon. And, whether they like it or not, they may be stuck with physical media for the next good while, no matter what the pricing.
I love the fact that CD's are going out of fashion. It's really a lot of fun buying a fistful of mint CD's for 2 bucks each at Goodwill as people turn to streaming and dump them. I could never have even dreamed of this!