Physical sales outsell digital downloads in US for first time since 2011

Is vinyl turning the tide?

According to a recent report from The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA), physical music sales beat digital downloads in 2017 in the US.

That said, the difference between physical and digital sales is a mere 2% between 17% and 15% respectively. Streaming still dominates the music market taking up 65% of the total listenership.

This isn’t to say, also, that physical sales are growing. In fact, physical sale dropped 4% last year while downloads fell 25%. The report notes that this is “a lower rate of decline than recent years”. This is due to vinyl sales’ growth of 10%, while other formats saw a decline, Fact report.


At the beginning of the year, the UK’s best selling vinyl albums of 2017 were revealed, with Ed Sheeran and Liam Gallagher topping the list.

2017’s top 40 is dominated by British artists, with Ed Sheeran and Liam Gallagher in the two top spots. Rag’n’Bone Man‘s debut album ‘Human’ also joins the top 10, with a number of legacy releases and reissues completing the list.

Read more: This is the full list of Record Store Day 2018 releases

Meanwhile, Bandcamp recently released its end of year figures and 2017 was the best year yet for the online music marketplace.

The site holds the discography of roughly 3,500 independent labels from around the world. Revenue from these independent labels rose a staggering 73% in 2017.


According to Bandcamp’s “2017 Year in Review” blog post, digital album sales rose by 16%, track sales by 33% and merchandise sales by 36%.

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