Physical music libraries could be making a comeback.
Weeks after vinyl record sales hit a 30-year high, Billboard reports compact discs experienced a notable uptick throughout last year. According to MRC Data, sales of CDs jumped from 40.16 million units in 2020 to 40.59 million in 2021, marking the first yearly gain for CD sales in 17 years.
The spike was driven by a handful of top-selling artists, including Adele, whose 30 album sold 898,000 CDs in 2021. Taylor Swift trailed the British singer with her reissued projects Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), which sold 263,000 and 237,000 CD, respectively. Carrie Underwood, BTS, and Olivia Rodrigo also delivered some of the top 10 selling CD albums of 2021 in the U.S. Underwood’s My Savior sold 217,000 copies; BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 and Be sold 210,000 and 187,000, respectively; while Rodrigo’s Sour sold 195,000.
TOP 10 SELLING CD ALBUMS OF 2021 IN U.S.
- Adele, 30 (898,000)
- Taylor Swift, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (263,000)
- Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor’s Version) (237,000)
- Carrie Underwood, My Savior (217,000)
- TOMORROW X TOGETHER, The Chaos Chapter: Freeze (215,000)
- Taylor Swift, Evermore (213,000)
- NCT 127 – Sticker: The 3rd Album (211,000)
- BTS, Map of the Soul: 7 (210,000)
- Olivia Rodrigo, Sour (195,000)
- BTS, Be (187,00)
According to Billboard, Adele, Swift, and BTS accounted for 7.1 percent of all 2021 CD sales. The outlet credits this to the artists’ CD packaging, which included physical copies with exclusive tracks as well as collectibles like tees, photo cards, and posters.