CD sales increased in 2021 for the first time in 17 years
Physical CDs could be making a comeback.
According to a yearly report from music data compiler MRC Data, sales of CDs increased from 40.16 million units in 2020 to 40.59 million in 2021, marking the first time CD sales have increased on a year-over-year basis since 2004.
Boosts in physical music sales in a streaming-dominated music ecosystem can likely be attributed to a few big album releases, particularly by female artists. Adele, Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo all moved heavy volumes of physical CDs in 2021 as each artist released albums last year.
CDs weren’t the only old-fashioned music format that saw gains in 2021 — vinyl album sales volume increased a massive 50.4%. Also in 2021, vinyl saw its single-largest sales week since 1991, when 2.11 million vinyl albums were sold the week of Dec. 23.
Here are some observations on why this could have happened (of course - covid !):
- People are spending 60% more time with music and other forms of remotely accessed entertainment.
- Slightly over one-third of the U.S. population is now working from home, a rate that is roughly double what it was before the pandemic.
- 60% of the U.S. population are engaging with more entertainment now that so many people are working from home.
- Consumers are leaning into entertainment and music for solace and distraction. Almost one-quarter of the population has added new subscription services, and 79% of that group reports that they intend to keep those services now that they’ve experienced them.
- 24% of those surveyed added at least one new subscription service in the last few weeks: 81% added video, 38% added music and 14% added games. Of those adding a subscription, households with children were the demo most likely to do so.
- Looking specifically at music, 87% say they are listening to what they would normally listen to; while 55%add they are opting for older music they used to listen to as people seek out entertainment they are familiar with.
- In accessing music, 78% cited their smartphones as their main source, but the survey notes that other devices are coming into play, with 46% using their laptop to listen to music; 33% using smart speakers; 30% using desktop computers; 26% through tablets; and 35% through smart TVs.
- In a surprising statistic, only 84% of those surveyed want a return to normalcy after experiencing life during the pandemic.
And above mentioned factors made a small move for physical format sales: nostalgia among older music listeners, a desire to directly support artists after live music venues, shut down during the pandemic, and newfound popularity among younger generations.
Maybe we can call it CD renaissance?
Do You have Your observations, why old-fashioned music format had increased? Please write Your comments-we are free for critics:)
Source: Nielsen Music MCR data.