By Leah Asmelash, CNN
(CNN) – Streaming has dominated the music industry for years, but 2021 has seen a noticeable increase in physical album sales, in part thanks to the success of Adele’s latest album.
CDs and vinyls had high sales in 2021, according to an annual MRC Data year-end music data report released this week.
The resurgence of vinyl in culture has been nothing short of a boom. In 2011, vinyl represented only 1.7% of physical music sales, with CDs making up the rest. In just 10 years, that number has grown to 50.4%, meaning that vinyls have now overtaken CDs as the top-selling physical format for the first time since 1991, MRC reported.
“In recent years, I’ve noticed that customers prefer to physically own music, other than streaming, usually in its best (vinyl) form,” Tobago Benito, owner of DBS Sounds record store, said in the summary. MRC data.
He attributes this both to the inclusion of record players in movies and on television, but also to the joy people get when looking for a certain vinyl in a record store, vinyl that can “bring back wonderful. memories, ”he said.
The increase in vinyl sales is also a significant jump from just a year ago, in 2020, when vinyls accounted for 27.5 million physical music sales, or roughly 40% of all total sales. Now accounting for roughly half of total sales is important.
Part of this year’s success could be the release of “30,” Adele’s first album in six years. On vinyl, “30” sold 108,000 copies in its first week, the second largest week of vinyl sales since 1991, when MRC Data began tracking those sales. The album was the best-selling vinyl album this year, followed by Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” reissue and Taylor Swift’s “Red” reissue.
Part of that, MRC reported, has to do with the success of Record Store Day, a popular promotion that takes place in the spring. Sales of new releases and re-releases have increased on Record Store Day since 2011, MRC said, thanks to the membership of popular artists.
“From Metallica lending credibility to RSD (and by extension, records / records) via their RSD release a decade ago, to Taylor Swift, bringing to the fore the vinyl editions of her recent releases, not as an afterthought, but as an important part of their launch, ”said Carl Mello, director of brand engagement for Newbury Comics, in a statement.
But a surprise from last year was the slight increase in CD sales in the United States, which rose 1.1% – from 40.2 million in sales in 2020 to 40.6 million in 2021. CD sales have been declining steadily for years, so the fact that they did not actively decline last year could be significant.
One of the reasons for the surge in sales was the release of Adele’s “30” and Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)”.
The Target CD version of “30,” which contained three bonus tracks, helped the CD version of the album sell 378,000 copies in its first week – the biggest CD-selling week of 2021, MRC said. . Just a week earlier, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” had sold 146,700 copies.
It’s not clear if this tiny increase means CDs are on the way, but it could signal a slight change for those still clinging to media.
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