Spotify and streaming are the sign of the times of the music industry but there is a hard core (which is not synonymous with old nostalgics) who loves to dive into the past among CDs, cassettes and vinyls . A rediscovery that also returns to the fore in the media, because the currents of alternative listening travel strongly on social media. But not only there: as data from the Recording Industry Association of America reveal , in 2021 CD sales in the United States recorded an increase compared to the previous year . A historical turning point? No, because we continue to live on streaming, but it must be said that such a rise has not been seen since 2004.
🚨 Not only did vinyl’s resurgence accelerate, but CD sales grew in 2021 as well. This is the first time since 1996 that both CD & vinyl record revenues grew 📊 in the same year. 🔗 : https://t.co/BFKxdg8m0c #RIAAMusicData pic.twitter.com/JGC31bXMnb
— RIAA (@RIAA) March 9, 2022
The data referring to the US market (confirmed by a report by Mrc Data ), outline an increase of 46.6 million units sold for 584.2 million dollars in revenues, compared to the 31.6 compact-disks purchased in 2020, when recorded revenue was $ 101 million lower. Nothing to do with the golden age of optical discs, invented in 1979 by Philips and DuPont. In the 2000s they were the most used medium for music and sales were over 1 billion units , only to mark the pace in front of technological development and entry into the DVD market.
The rediscovery of compact disks, albeit restricted to the circle of enthusiasts willing to spend, is accompanied by the good feedback enjoyed by vinyl , also discovered by the very young , both artists with new recordings and listeners. In the latter case, the curiosity exercised by an analog and unknown object for digital natives is triggered.
Just under a year ago, vinyl sales exceeded CDs, both in the US and in Italy, with peaks of over 120% compared to the previous twelve months and a market share greater than 10%. Which remains incomparable to the revenues generated by listening to streaming, about 80% of the entire pie. Just to get an idea, according to the data of the RIIA, in the American market the revenues of streaming are close to 10.5 billion dollars (8.6 billion from subscriptions, 1.8 billion guaranteed by advertising).
Alongside CDs and vinyls, sales of cassettes are also growing again , which for Fimi marked a + 41% in terms of volumes sold in 2021 compared to the previous year, when Covid-19 and lockdown gave a blow to the segment. A rediscovery of interest that convinced a group of musicians (David Stefano, Max Intorno, Giacomo Coveri and Karim Qqru of Zen Circus) to bet on cassette tapes with the launch of Dirt Tapes , a label that assembles and prints music on magnetic tape, from listen on The Tape-Roller, the cassette player of the same group proposed for 39.99 euros.
True to the line dedicated to audiophiles willing to satiate the hunger for high quality music, Sony has recently revamped the Signature Series range of digital Walkman , with two more models with cutting-edge technologies, such as the S-Master HX digital amplification and the Vinyl Processor filter for a softer rendering of low frequencies like on vinyls. Based on Android 11 and equipped with 128 GB and 256 GB of memory, the two new Walkman will arrive on the market in April at prices of 1,400 and 3,700 euros. Tags for true sound maniacs.