Though CD sales are still far from their peak in 2000, an increase in CD sales combined with the rise in vinyl sales mark a revival of physical music.
According to the data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), CD sales in the US for 2021 increased for the first time in nearly two decades. Shipments increased from 31.6 million in 2020 to 46.6 million in 2021. Similarly, revenue from the format rose from $483.2 million in 2020 to $584.2 million in 2021.
Physical music seems to be making a resurgence, with the increase in CD sales coinciding with the steady rise in vinyl sales for over a decade. Vinyl sales hit 39.7 million units in the US in 2021, bringing in $1 billion in revenue.
However, streaming continued to maintain a dominant position, with paid subscriptions making up 57.2% of revenue measured by RIAA last year, at $8.6 billion. Ad-supported streams reached $1.8 billion last year. CD and vinyl sales together made for less than 11% of the total revenue.
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