Physical CDs are refundable.
According to an annual report by Music Data Compiler MRC data, CD sales increased from 40.16 million units in 2020 to 40.59 million in 2021, the first time since 2004 that CD sales have increased year-on-year.
CDs weren’t the only old-fashioned music format that saw gains in 2021 – vinyl album sales volume grew a whopping 50.4% year-over-year. Also in 2021, vinyl sales saw their biggest sales week since 1991, when 2.11 million vinyl albums sold in the week of December 23,
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The growth in sales of physical music in the streaming-dominated music ecosystem can be attributed to some of the larger album releases, particularly those by female artists. Adele, Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo all sold massive amounts of physical CDs in 2021 as each artist released albums the previous year.
Despite this small jump in CD sales, music streaming on platforms like Spotify Spot,
and Apple AAPL,
“Audio on-demand streaming reached a new single-year high of 988.1 billion streams in 2021 (up 12.6% from 877.2 billion in 2020),” MRC report Reading.
As for streaming, Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” was the most streamed song of 2021.