While streaming and vinyl (particularly mail-order sales) seem to be booming during the pandemic. Many in the music business, artists as well as fans have been asking themselves whether COVID-19 will stick the last nail in CD’s coffin.
According to the latest data, that nail might be ready, but it is not there yet. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) data says that nearly 11 million CDs were sold during the first half of this year — in the United States alone. Head over to the second-largest music market in Japan, and CDs remain the dominant format with more than 70 percent of all recorded music sales.
That data also shows that “the U.S. recorded music revenues increased 5.6 percent during 2020’s first half, to $5.7 billion at retail value, compared to the same period in 2019. The fact that this growth arrived amid the pandemic is significant, with CD-buying die-hards still making purchases despite record store closures and widespread lockdowns.”
As Digital Music News notes, most of the half-year increase is attributable to streaming. But US-based fans purchased about 10.6 million CDs, for total revenue of $129.9 million, during 2020’s initial six months. While substantial, the figures represent a clear-cut falloff from 2019’s first and second quarters, when physical music diehards spent about $247.9 million on 18.6 million or so CDs.