ARIA predicts vinyl will outsell CDs in Australia in 2021

CDs outsold vinyl in 2020 by just $1million, compared to $14million in 2019

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has predicted this year will see vinyl outsell CDs in Australia for the first time in over 30 years.

Figures released by ARIA show that, in 2020, CDs outsold vinyl in Australia by just over $1million, with $30million and $29million worth of CDs and vinyl being sold respectively.

In 2019, CDs outsold vinyl by over $14million, meaning that 2020 saw a dramatic decrease in the gap between sales of the two formats.


2020 marked the ninth consecutive year where CD sales have decreased in Australia, while vinyl sales increased. ARIA has revealed that, because of these trends, vinyl is likely to outsell CDs in Australia in 2021.

If this happens, it will be the first time vinyl outsells CDs since 1987. The Sydney Morning Herald had previously reported that ARIA had predicted this shift to happen in 2020.

In addition, the projection given by ARIA comes just a few months after vinyl outsold CDs in the United States for the first time since 1986.

However, sales of both formats pale in comparison to streaming revenue, which accounted for $445.8million of the Australian recorded music market’s $542million revenue in 2020.

2020 also represents the sixth consecutive year where revenue for the industry has grown, having last decreased in 2014.

The growth also aligns with current global trends of increased recorded music sales, with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reporting a 7.4 per cent global increase in 2020.


A statement given by ARIA said that the growth was important, especially considering the challenges the music industry has faced since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

“The growth in the recorded music market reflects the important role that music played for Australians going through a very challenging year with numerous lockdowns and widespread uncertainty due to COVID-19,” the statement read.

“Despite the growth in recorded music, it has been a very challenging year for the music industry as a whole with live music shut down in March 2020 and still running well below capacity.”