Are CD and Digital Sales dying out?

How we stream music seems to change through the decades, from vinyl’s starting in the 50s to cassette tapes in the 70s, then CD’s in the 80s, all the way through to the late 90s with mp3 players and now music streaming apps where you can play music from pretty much any device.

However, it seems these old platforms are slowly making a return, most famously: vinyl. After an almost 30-year hiatus from their prime popularity, vinyl’s are unexpectedly making a return – and maybe for good. In 2017 more than 4.2million vinyl albums were sold in the UK alone, their highest level since 1991. Yet it seems it is only vinyl that is making an increase in sales, with both physical and digital album sales decreasing since 2016 by 19.5% according to Nielsen Music’s Q3 report, whilst also stating that vinyl sales are continuing to grow by up to 3.1%. Vinyl has seen a successive climb in sales in the past eight years, despite almost dying out in 2006.

Subsequently, it is due to the incline in vinyl sales and the increasing popularity of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, that offset the decline in CD sales. WEA, the global distribution, marketing, sales and research arm of Warner Music Group, sent buyout letters to over 130 employees in January of 2018 in relation to physical product (CD’s). The move is in reaction to the declining CD sales mainly in the U.S. in 2017 and with a prediction of a similar decline to happen in 2018, foreseeing a 19.6 reduction in CD sales for 2018.

.It has become evident that more and more people are finding the modern form of music more appealing – with the exception of vinyl – the on-the-go aspect of streaming music from an app on your phone, laptop or tablet is an exciting concept that will surely continue to grow throughout forthcoming years.

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