Disc deals in the US for 2021 expanded without precedent for just about twenty years, as per information distributed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Shipments rose from 31.6 million out of 2020 to 46.6 million of every 2021, and income from the organization rose from $483.2 million to $584.2 million. The RIAA’s numbers certify a comparative report from MRC Data distributed recently.
Although CD sales are still far from their 2000 peak — when almost a billion CD albums were shipped in the US — Axios notes that the increase is another key element of the resurgence in physical music. Vinyl sales have been steadily increasing for over a decade-and-a-half now, and hit 39.7 million units in the US in 2021, bringing in $1 billion in revenue.
The blend implies that actual media all in all accomplished its first expansion in quite a while starting around 1996, however streaming remaining parts ruler. Paid memberships made up 57.2 percent of income estimated by the RIAA in 2021 at $8.6 billion, while promotion upheld streams acquired $1.8 billion. In the interim, CD and vinyl collection deals consolidated made up under 11% of income.
Personally, I’ll be very interested to see if this resurgence in CDs specifically continues as the world emerges from two years of pandemic lockdowns. CDs are great for listening to music at home, but I haven’t seen anyone carrying around a cumbersome portable CD player in years. And whereas vinyl offers a distinct sound compared to digital music, CDs contain digital music that’s essentially identical to what’s offered by lossless music services from Apple and Amazon (though, crucially, not Spotify).
Then again, CDs still offer something that purely digital services can only dream of: a nice physical object, complete with album art and a real sense of ownership. Plus there’s the sense that more of your money is going directly to an artist, rather than the pennies offered per play by streaming corporations.