Music CD sales increased strongly last year. According the data of annual report of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), it is the first time that this format has grown since 2004. The data refer to the United States, but the trend shows that they can be extrapolated to the rest of the world.
The compact disc, an optical digital medium to store all kinds of information, audio, video or data, came like a cyclone to improve floppy disks in all fields of computing and entertainment use. In music, CD Audio completely dominated the industry. until streaming camecausing great changes in the distribution formats of multimedia content and resounding falls in physical formats.
The music CD was one of the defenestrated and finally in 2015, the music industry’s revenue from digital formats surpassed that of physical sales for the first time in history. Since then the decline has worsened, the big retailers stopped selling the format and it has remained almost residual.
But everything comes back… Or so they tell us from the RIAA. CD Audio sales in the United States in 2021 rose strongly to 46.6 million and so did revenue, to 584 million. It is the first year of growth for the format since 2004. Logically, these figures are light years away from the best moments of the format at the beginning of the century, when almost 1,000 million music CDs were sold annually. But any increase is still significant.
Does the music CD think of the vinyl boom?
The physical format is not dead and one that long predates the CD, vinyl audio, is unexpectedly triumphing despite the importance of digital music and streaming in today’s market. Vinyl sales have been growing for fifteen years since the decline that began in 1994 and today generate more income than music CDs.
Perhaps it is a mirror in which to look at oneself, although they are certainly totally different and the (analog) sound that emerges from a guitar is unmatched by any other. It is true that it is not as practical as streaming and digital music and its “quality” is still disparate, but it is still a pleasure that more and more users are recovering.