After 17 years of declining numbers, CD sales have reached a nearly two -decade high by 2021, and the biggest factor is Adele.
In CD sales alone, it moved a total of 898,000 units-a huge amount for the release of the post-streaming age of music consumption. According to Billboard, which accounts for two percent of all format sales, and “has 30 before being released in 2021, overall CD sales may be declining each year.
With Adele’s help, 2021 marks the first time since 2004 that CD sales have increased. For reference, that was the year when Usher’s Confessions dominated the industry by selling an estimated 7,979,000 copies-a feat unimaginable by today’s standards.
Also helping with the year-over-year trend is great works as well Taylor Swift and BTS. Swift is the only one to have three albums released on CD throughout 2021, with 2020’s evermore sold 213,000 physical copies, No Fear (Taylor’s Version) operating 263,000, and Red (Taylor’s Version) of 237,000 and counting. For those who do math at home, that’s a total of 713,000 compact discs in the three projects.
And the K-pop boy band even surpassed Taylor, selling 1.03 million CDs between 2020’s Soul Map: 7 and can. Of course, it helps that BTS has yet to offer any of their vinyl albums-except for the limited edition 12 ″ printing on can. Combined, BTS, Taylor Swift, and Adele accounted for more than seven percent of all CDs sold.
The popularity of Adele’s latest album has also contributed to a global vinyl shortage and delays in production across the country. His dominance seems to continue until the new year as he prepares for his future residency in Sin City, “Weekend with Adele,” at the Colosseum in Las Vegas inside Caesars Palace. Tickets are available HERE.