Don’t throw away that old CD player or vinyl turntable! According to an annual report by music data compiler MRC Data, 2021 has been a fantastic year for CD sales. For the first time since 2004, sales of CDs increases. Last year wasn’t just a good year for compact discs – apparently vinyl album sales increased 50.4% from 2020.
Why are people starting to buy more CDs and vinyl records? We spoke with representatives from two record stores in Birmingham to find out more.
2021 has been a great year for vinyl albums and CDs
In an age when almost all of the wealth of recorded music is available at your fingertips, it seems odd that archaic forms of recording, such as vinyl albums, compact discs, cassettes, etc., are gaining popularity. Although physical forms of music experienced a steady decline in popularity in the early 2000s due to digital download and streaming services, there has been a resurgence of interest in vinyl albums over the past decade. .
According to MRC Data’s 2021 year-end report in the United States, global consumption of music in all its forms increased 11.3% last year. Interestingly, MRC Data noted that for the first time since they started tracking music streaming in 2008, current music streaming has declined. Instead, consumers saw a resurgence of interest in old favorites or discovered older tracks.
MRC Data reported that consumers purchased 41.7 million vinyl records in 2021, a massive 50.4% increase from 2020 sales. In fact, consumers have purchased over 2 million vinyl records. in the week leading up to December 23, just in time for the holidays!
Click here to read MRC Data’s 2021 year-end report in the United States.
Why are CD and vinyl sales increasing?
To learn more about the renewed interest in vintage audio formats, Bham Now turned to local Birmingham experts: Jimmy Griffin of Renaissance Records and Dan Drinkard of Seasick Records.
Do you stock and sell more used or new vinyl or CD albums?
Jimmy: “We always have more used records than new ones because new pressings are very expensive. We have a handful of new releases, but we have more classics because that’s usually what our customers want. It’s funny, some recent records can turn into classics, like Neutral Milk Hotel.
We sell almost all sound formats: 78, 7 inch records, 10 inch records, 8 tracks, cassettes, CDs, etc. I sold a 3 inch CD yesterday, I bet there aren’t many in town! “
Have you noticed an increase in vinyl and CD sales over the past year? If yes, why?
Dan: “We sold a lot more vinyls last year. I think the recent popularity of vinyl has gone due to the lower number of concerts in the last couple of years, due to the pandemic. Vinyl sales have been increasing over the last few years anyway, but when you don’t have gigs to go to, consumers want to spend that extra money on music, and I think vinyl is the preferred medium for that.
Why do you think consumers are more interested in LPs and CDs?
Jimmy: “I think there’s a new trend in the way people listen to music. Five years ago, people just wanted to listen to music on their phones; now they are delighted to have a record player for Christmas. I have watched collecting music become a family pastime, with grandparents and parents coming with their children to buy records. People see how fun it is to have a hard copy of your favorite recordings! “
Want to take advantage of the latest music trend?
Looking to purchase new and used vinyl, CDs, cassettes and other physical forms of music? You’re in luck, there are plenty of places to find them in Birmingham. Here are some of my favorite local places to buy music:
- Seasick Records – 4420 4th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
- Renaissance Records – 2020 11th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205
- 2nd & Charles – 1705 Montgomery Highway Suite 111, Birmingham, AL 35244
- Delta Pawn – 3421 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
- King’s Home Thrift – 1569 Cooper Hill Road, Irondale, AL 35210
- Lovelady Thrift Store (Irondale) – 7720 Ludington Lane, Irondale, AL 35210
- Lovelady Thrift Store (Center Point) – 2402 Old Springville Road, Center Point, AL 35215
- What’s New at 2nd – 1101 20th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205
- Toms Sound – 4013 1st Avenue North, Birmingham AL 35222
Where to buy vinyls and CDs in Birmingham? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!