IRONDEQUOIT, BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — The Recording Industry Association of America said this week that vinyl records are outselling CDs for the first time since 1987.

In 2022, the RIAA says vinyl sold 40 million units, while 30 million CD units were sold. It’s certainly enough demand to keep five record stores open in the Rochester area:

  • Bop Shop Records
  • Hi Fi Lounge
  • House of Guitars
  • Record Archive
  • Needledrop Records

While streaming music is still king, Aric Schaubroeck at HOG says it’s people of all ages buying wax.

“Younger people are into certain things, older people are going for the old classics they used to have when they were younger, it’s a full cycle,” he said.

Tom Kohn at Bop Shop Records says he is even seeing families come in to shop, and says that the pandemic likely helped to make listening to records a family activity.

Down the road in Brighton, that full circle is certainly true for Mark Kaidy Hi Fi Lounge, who says he opened in 1986 as a CD-only store.

In addition to records and CDs, Kaidy also sells stereo speakers, amplifiers, receivers, and turntables, which has added another surprising boost to his business.

“A lot of record players got put away in the 1980s, and just stayed there in the closet, and they come out and generally speaking they’re pretty good, but need some attention, and we do a lot here,” Kaidy said.

All of the record store representatives said that while there are other reasons for the boom — the collectible value, the “kitsch,” the improvement in sound quality — Kohn says the universal truth the best:

“Humans like things,” Kohn said. “and “And they like to touch things, and records are cool because there are a lot of things to touch there. “

And there might be another full circle coming to physical music media… Kohn says that CDs might be the next thing to come back.