With dozens of music streaming services that can instantly put millions of songs at subscribers’ fingertips and even digital stores specializing in lossless and/or hi-res formats (e.g., FLAC) to appease audiophiles, sales of music CDs must look as pathetic as ever, right? Wrong. According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s latest annual sales report, CD sales actually went up this year, growing to a surprising $584 million. That figure is not only $100 million higher than 2020, but it also marks the first increase in U.S. CD sales since 2004. Vinyl sales also increased admirably this year from $643 million to $1 billion, another indication that physical music is making a serious resurgence.
CD sales grow for first time since 2004 (Axios)
- Streaming is the new lifeblood of the music industry, but physical music is enjoying a resurgence that can no longer be dismissed as a passing fad driven by hardcore collectors.
- CD sales grew to $584.2 million nationally last year, up more than $100 million from 2020. By comparison, 2021 vinyl sales increased to $1 billion annually, up from $643.9 million.
- The CD was the music industry’s leading format in the 1990s, peaking at $13.2 billion in annual sales in 2000.