GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- For the first time since 2011, vinyl records and CDs are outselling digital downloads.
According to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), digital downloads fell 25 percent to 1.3 billion in 2017.
The report says that digital downloads have posted double digit declines for three consecutive years.
But, this is the first time they've fallen behind physical music media like vinyl records and compact discs.
The U.S. Music Industry revenues in 2017 show streaming accounts for 65 percent of the market, while physical albums account for 17 percent of the market, and digital downloads account for 15 percent of the market, according to RIAA.
“Steaming is the new radio, it’s now people are turned on to new stuff What that means for our world, people are coming in they know what they want, because they are discovering all this great music out there and they want something physical, something tangible to listen to,” said Jim Novak, Electric Fetus music buyer. “You have this piece of art in your hands, it’s a way to time travel.”
Closing the generation gap, is Echo Collumb, 11, and her mother, Angela Phenicie, of St. Paul who came to the Electric Fetus to browse vinyl together, settling on a Bruce Springsteen album the family can experience together.
“I think that there is a lot of music we bring into our lives we can rely on and reflect on and it brings us through, and I want her to have that,” said Phenicie.
“It’s so much fun to converse and talk about maybe different albums you have, collecting, makes you feel special,” added Collumb.
At Down in the Valley store in Golden Valley, general manager Scott Farrell points out that choosing vinyl is an important way of supporting an artist.
“When you really break it down, an artist is going to make more money when you buy a physical piece of product of theirs, whether CD or vinyl,” said Farrell.
Greg Pudwill and Jim Robb, two loyal Down in the Valley customers, rediscovered vinyl a few years ago after previously selling their collections. The men each amassed more than 1,700 albums in the past few years and now hunt for rare finds.
“Something tangible to hold on to, I’ve never seen anybody show off their MP3 collection,” said Robb.
The sound is so much better than digital,” added Pudwill.
The RIAA says it's also the first time since 1999 US music revenue grew two years in a row, again fueled by those streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, which saw 50 percent jump in growth in 2017.
View the report here.