Gen Xers, Millennials and Even Some Gen Zs Choose Vinyl and Drive Record Sales Up

Sales data shows that cassettes first surpassed vinyl LP sales in the U.S. in 1983. Then CDs surpassed cassette sales in 1991. At that point, vinyl LPs disappeared from most music stores, remaining only a DJ specialty. They accounted for only 0.8 percent of total music sales.

Tim Ford, vice president of purchasing at Sunrise Records, says he recalls feeling forced to buy CDs in the ’90s because they were cheaper than vinyl and more widely available for him as a broke teenager. Now, Ford and many other ’80s and ’90s kids are working adults with disposable incomes. Ford says 35-to-40-year-olds want music from their generation like their parents had.

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