CD sales have been drastically declining since the mid-2000s, along with overall sales across most other formats. Just look at this graph of sales over time to see the harsh reality.
CD Baby has a more positive outlook on physical sales. They say their physical unit sales are increasing. The company says that in 2013 they sold 12 percent more physical units than in 2012. They say physical sales for 2014 are currently up 10 percent. CD Baby did not reveal exactly how many units they’re selling, but the stats cover CD, vinyl, and DVDs.
The company says jazz, roots, and classical musicians sell more CDs. Rock and electronic musicians are seeing an increase in vinyl sales.
Part of the rise in CD Baby physical sales has to do with the vinyl resurgence. It’s projected that vinyl sales will be up 38 percent in 2014. The other part of the equation is that CD Baby tends to attract musicians that actually sell CDs.
+Now You Can Sell Music on CD Baby Without Paying Set-Up Fees…
Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u
Please edit to say “…declining since the mid-2000s”
And perhaps when discussing CD sales you should not have a picture of a DVD?
As I said – just picking nits.
For all the fervor around killing the CD, bands still need physical product to sell at shows and it can’t just be vinyl, because too few people own turntables. LPs are going to do better on websites.
It would really be a mistake to eliminate CDs completely.
“bands still need physical product to sell at show”
Makes sense. I just don’t understand why anybody wants to buy them. I don’t like to look at them, I don’t like to touch them, I don’t like their sleeves and I don’t like their boxes. If people could tell the difference between iTunes downloads and CDs it would make sense, but they can’t so it doesn’t. Rant over.
It sounds to me like therapy may be required, especially for that plastic case aversion.
Better quality, doesn’t get lost when your drive crashes, better quality, itune can’t control, better quality. . .
Here’s the deal. CDs are disproportionately important for DIY artists. These artists can’t get radio play, and can’t typically get their product into stores. Sure, through CD Baby they can get onto iTunes, Spotify, and every other digital store, but with a limited budget, the artist’s reach is limited. Therefore, for the DIY artist, local gigging is an important revenue driver. And the best way to drive up gig revenue is by selling merch (CDs and T-shirts) at gigs. The role of CDs has gradually changed over the past 10 years. Now it’s not primarily a medium to carry music content. It’s almost more of a souvenir. Buying a CD at a gig – and having the artist autograph it – says “I was there” like nothing else. THAT is what is driving the sustained CD volume for independent artists.
It really depends on where you’re playing, from my experience.
In major, “hip” cities, especially if you’re a “hip” blogged about band, selling CDs in NYC, LA, Chicago, Seattle, etc just doesn’t really happen. I mean, new laptops haven’t even had CD drives for a couple years now. So all the hip indie kids buy Macs can’t even play that shit.
In the south, especially if you’re a fairly non-controversial band, like alt country or something, and you book bars with built in crowds (who tend to skew older) you can still sell a decent amount of CDs.
It’s because Amazon raised physical cd prices to a ridiculous level.