While impressive, the key word in the headline above is "free." Record sales were better than ad-supported music streaming services. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that U.S. consumers bought $226 million worth of vinyl records in the first half of the year. Contrast this to $162.7 million in revenues from ad-supported streams from the likes of Pandora and Spotify, and it looks like people are actually paying a significant chunk of change for music. More money is being made on record sales than money is generated from ad-based online music.