Has the vinyl LP resurgence peaked


Many Baby Boomer and Gen X readers of Econ Quiz will remember spending a teenage afternoon at Penny Lane or Musicland hoping to find a rare or imported vinyl LP/EP album from their favorite band.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reports that sales of vinyl LP/EPs peaked in 1978 when 344 million albums were sold for an inflation-adjusted value of $9.1 billion.

The rise of more portable formats, starting with 8-tracks and ending with digital music downloads, displaced vinyl sales over the years. In 2006, RIAA reported only 900,000 vinyl LP/EP albums were sold.

However, there has been a resurgence in enthusiasm for vinyl music in recent years as millennials breathe new life into the format, audiophiles attest to a warmness of its sound, and older music enthusiasts rediscover the fun of digging in the crates.

How many new vinyl LP/EP albums were sold in 2016?

A. 6.7 million

B. 12.1 million

C. 2.9 million

D. 17.2 million

Answer: D. RIAA reports that 17.2 million vinyl LP/EP albums were sold in 2016, for sales totaling $429.7 million.

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Vinyl album sales peaked in 1978 but have bounced back, increasing each year since 2004.


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