Catalog Music’s Consumption Share Is Still Growing, Report Says — As Vinyl Sales Show Signs of Cooling Down

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record vinyl sales
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Photo Credit: Victrola

Global and domestic streams continued to grow by double digits during 2022’s opening half, and catalog releases accounted for about 72.4 percent of stateside music consumption, according to a new report. Meanwhile, previously red-hot vinyl sales are showing signs of cooling down.

Luminate revealed these and other stats in its newly published “Midyear Music Report.” As the title suggests, the analysis centers on music consumption trends during the initial six months of 2022, when global on-demand song streams cracked 1.6 trillion (up 24.7 percent from H1 2021) and on-demand video song streams came in at 901.5 billion (up 28.1 percent YoY), according to the breakdown.

These worldwide boosts translated to smaller (but still substantial) increases in the U.S., per the resource, including 620.2 billion on-demand streams for audio as well as video (up 11.6 percent YoY). The figure specifically reflects 543.2 billion audio streams (up 12.4 percent from Q1 and Q2 2021), with the remaining 77 billion or so streams (a 6.3 percent YoY boost) having come from video.

Predictably, digital album sales (down 19.6 percent YoY) and digital single sales (down 21.4 percent YoY) continued to decline in the U.S. during 2022’s first half, the document shows.

And as initially mentioned, the much-discussed rise of “catalog” music consumption – or tracks that, among other things, released at least 18 months ago – continued during H1 2022, hiking to 72.4 percent (up from 69.4 percent) in the U.S., including 14 percent growth for “catalog total album consumption” (344.1 million), the newly released report states.

More immediately, the development drove a 2.6 percent YoY consumption falloff for non-catalog titles on streaming services and a 10.4 percent dip for non-catalog in video streams.

Besides the gains in streams and catalog’s listenership share, perhaps the most interesting takeaway from the report is a slowdown in vinyl sales and a material slip for CDs. 

Notwithstanding some prior signs of a resurgence, CD sales fell to 16.9 million units (down 10.7 percent YoY) – BTS nevertheless managed to move a quarter of a million copies of the CD-only Proof in a single week last month – whereas vinyl sales improved by one percent YoY, to 19.4 million units, according to Luminate.

Interestingly, in terms of the surging format’s relative sales standstill, non-catalog vinyl sales grew by 27.4 percent YoY during H1 2022 – just enough to offset an 8.4 percent decline in the catalog category, the analysis shows.

The report likewise indicates that Gen X and millennials accounted for 62 percent of male vinyl customers in the U.S. between January’s start and June’s end, compared to 34 percent of female vinyl customers for Gen Z, a large portion of which is reportedly unfamiliar with extremely well-known 20th century bands.