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It's Just Business

Despite The Vinyl Hype, CDs Remain King Of Physical Media In The UK

They continue to outsell vinyl significantly.

Music cd stack
Rows of music cds in a cd holder, shallow dof

For the last few years, the narrative surrounding physical music has been dominated by the triumphant return of vinyl. Picture the scene: warm lamplight, crackling fireplace, and a lovingly curated stack of LPs promising an immersive, analog listening experience.

But amidst the resurgence of this retro format, there's a hidden truth – according to the annual report by BPI (British Phonographic Industry) on music consumption, CDs remain the UK's king of physical music, quietly outselling vinyl for over three decades.

So, what gives? Is everyone stuck in the 90s with their Discman? Not quite. The truth is, that CDs offer a unique blend of practicality and affordability that vinyl simply can't match. They're compact, portable, and relatively inexpensive, making them ideal for everyday listening. Plus, the sheer volume of music available on CD dwarfs that of vinyl, giving listeners unparalleled choice and accessibility.

It's not all doom and gloom for vinyl, though. Its sales are indeed on the rise, experiencing a healthy 11.8% jump in 2023. But even with this growth, vinyl still only accounts for about 6 million units sold compared to CD's 10.8 million. That's a significant gap, and it highlights the enduring popularity of the humble CD.

But here's the real kicker: CDs are not just clinging on to relevance; they're actively contributing to the health of the UK music industry. In 2023, physical music sales accounted for over 70% of chart-eligible albums, with releases like Blur's The Ballad of Darren and The Rolling Stones' Hackney Diamonds seeing a whopping 89% of their sales come from physical formats. And guess what? CDs are the driving force behind these numbers, outselling vinyl by nearly two to one.

So, the next time you hear someone proclaiming the death of the CD, remember this: it's alive and well, and it's playing a vital role in keeping the music industry afloat. While vinyl may be the trendy kid on the block, CD sales remain strong, quietly ruling over the physical UK music realm with its practicality, affordability, and vast musical library.

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It's Just Business

Vinyl is still very much on the rise.