Just like in the case of physical books versus e-books, there are some who will prefer the “old school” version of music, like listening to them through CDs or even vinyl. Perhaps some do it out of nostalgia, while there are some purists who believe that listening to music via these sources produces the best sound.
Now according to the latest report by the RIAA (via Engadget), it seems that even in this day and age with music streaming services supposedly gaining more steam, CD and vinyl sales are apparently outselling those of digital downloads when it comes to music. This isn’t to say that music streaming services are a bust, in fact the RIAA’s stats show that revenue generated by music streaming hit $5.7 billion in 2017, up from $4 billion in 2016.
However it seems that while physical sales do appear to be on a decline of 4%, they still managed to rake in $1.5 billion in revenue versus digital downloads whose revenues fell by 25% to $1.3 billion. It should be noted that digital downloads and music streaming are different, where digital downloads refer to music/albums paid for and download ala carte.
That being said, the RIAA’s stats seem to echo what other music industries around the world are feeling as well. While vinyl is a very old format, the rise in their popularity has seen vinyl factories reopening their doors in Australia and Japan.