CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hopefully you kept all your old records because they are back in style. Reports from the Radio Industry Association of America show revenue for vinyl grew 17% in 2022, accounting for 71% of physical music revenues. At the same time, revenues for CDs dropped 18%.

It's the first time vinyl albums outsold CDs in units since 1987. 

What You Need To Know

  • Revenues from vinyl grew 17% in 2022, while revenue from CDs fell 18%
  • Vinyl records make up 71% of physical music format revenues
  • Record stores say they see the changing demographic of people coming in their doors

Jimmy Parker is the owner of REPO Record in Charlotte. The record store sells vinyls, CDs, stereo systems and record players.

Parker says he started REPO Record in 1988, then closed in 2005 after burning CDs started to take over the music industry. He says he noticed a regained interest in vinyls around 2012 and bought the building REPO Record is currently in. He reopened in November of 2013 and is still there nearly 10 years later.

Parker says the demand and costs for vinyl continue to grow. 

"Now, with the shortage of vinyl and the big surge, you can't buy one and then go back the next day and buy another one because they'll be out, so I have to buy five and 10 at a time on certain titles," Parker said.

Steve Hoelderlin works at the store. He says he started coming in on his lunch breaks in 2002 when he was a DJ.

Hoelderlin says he listens to music on all platforms, but credits vinyl as being something people can't easily make at home themselves. 

"When you have something official, the label has to make that," Hoelderlin said. "It's really a piece of art, and I think people understand that nowadays."

He says the demographic of people coming in the shop has changed from mostly just DJs to young kids and people of all different professions.

Parker says he has always sold more vinyls than CDs at REPO Record.

Streaming music, however, is still how most people consume their music. It made up 84% of all recorded music revenues in 2022.