CD Sales Increased For The First Time In 17 Years
CD sales are up for the first time in 17 years, and we have major marquee acts like Adele, BTS, and Taylor Swift to thank.
According to Billboard, Adele is the main driver in 2021 CD sales, with her latest album 30 being the year’s top-selling album across all physical and digital formats, and it was this past year’s top-selling CD, with 898,000 units sold. As Billboard concludes, “had 30 not been released in 2021, total CD sales would have been down year-over-year.”
Next up is Swift, who technically was promoting three albums in 2021, between Evermore (213,000 CDs sold), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (263,000 CDs), and Red (Taylor’s Version) (237,000 CDs). And then there’s BTS, whose 2020 albums Map Of The Soul: 7 and Be sold 1.03 million CDs combined in 2021. All together, BTS, Adele, and Swift represent 7.1 percent of all CD sales in 2021.
Even “catalog CDs,” aka albums that are 18 months or older and have fallen below 100 on the Billboard 200, were up 1.4 percent in 2021. Billboard attributes that to major artists releasing albums with extra features, and retail stores opening back up after a 2020 pandemic closure.
Whatever the reason, our recent Callin guest Ryley Walker was really on to something when he said we were due for a CD revival.