The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) has published their year-end numbers, and the physical medium did pretty well! According to the report, CD sales grew from $483.3 million across 31.6 million sales in 2020 to $584.2 million across 46.6 million sales in 2021. Vinyl also grew, from $643.9 million across 23.7 million sales in 2020 to $1.037 billion across 39.7 sales in 2021. Overall, physical music drew in $1.655 billion in 2021, up from $1.163 billion in 2020.
"By format, streaming remains the most popular – representing 83% of total revenues – but vinyl and CDs both made big gains, with vinyl passing $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 35 years and CD sales jumping up 21% in a single year," said Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, in an op-ed on Music Business Worldwide. When different formats and technologies thrive, it creates new pathways for diverse styles and voices, from classical to jazz to reggae to punk."
Elsewhere, digital downloads fell from $664.7 million in 2020 to $586.8 million in 2021, while streaming grew from $10.051 billion to $12.443 billion. Check out the full report here.