3 Trends That Prove CDs are Making a Comeback

Vinyl has made plenty of headlines in recent years, but CDs also have quite a few stories to tell. As the second best-selling format on Discogs, CDs have continued to be a popular choice for collectors in the Marketplace. Billboard figures show that CDs recently saw their first sales increase in 17 years. Reputable brands like Marantz offer a high-quality line of CD players as more audiophiles and music fans discover, rediscover, or maintain their passion for CDs.

The big questions are how and why? How have CDs endured and why are they growing in popularity again? The only way to answer these questions is to break down some Discogs data from the last five years and take a look at how artists, fans, and record labels have kept the CD alive.

CD Releases Are Consistently Added to the Discogs Database

CDs computer

Submissions for CD releases have remained incredibly consistent. Contributors have added between 366,000 and 430,000 CD releases to the database each year since 2017. These numbers point to a few different contributing factors.

For starters, older releases have been discovered by new fans and rediscovered by long-time collectors. As the demand for CDs rises, contributors add older releases to the database. This allows new fans and re-energized collectors to discover classic titles and add them to their collections.

The release of brand-new albums on CD has also influenced this trend. Artists like Taylor Swift, BTS, and Adele have all released their recent albums on CD. This has opened up the world of CDs to a whole new generation of younger collectors.

CDs Listed for Sale Have Increased Every Year for the Last Five Years

CDs listed for sale graph

Since 2017, the number of CDs listed for sale in the Discogs Marketplace has increased steadily each year resulting in an overall 465% increase. The most dramatic surge was in 2021. However, Discogs has seen the number of CDs for sale increase by over 4.6 listings in 2022 so far. If the second half of the year mirrors the first, we may see 2021’s impressive figure more than double! If the number of CDs submitted to the Database continues to remain steady, we can anticipate further increases.

CD Sales in the Discogs Marketplace Have Also Grown in the Last Five Years

CDs purchased graph

Between 2017 and 2021, the number of CDs sold in the Discogs Marketplace has increased from 1.9 million to 3.9 million. These 2 million additional CDs account for a 208% increase in just five years.

One of the main reasons for this substantial jump is affordability. With rising vinyl costs, used CDs have become a cheaper alternative. Music fans are combing CD listings for budget-friendly copies of the albums they love most.

Much like the recent tape resurgence, there are quite a few Gen Z music collectors that are interested in the format. Gen X and Millennial parents are passing on their CD collections or regaling their Gen Z children with nostalgic tales of the convenience of compact discs. The size and simplicity of CDs speaks to those on the go or anyone who prefers to pop a disc in and not worry about flipping a record or dropping a needle.

Many audiophiles continue to build their CD collections due to their rich sound quality. A lot of vinyl reissues have been pulled from digital sources instead of the original analog masters. As the last prominent physical format before streaming arrived on the scene, many CDs offer a unique hi-fi listening experience.

The current delays in vinyl manufacturing have also inspired artists and fans to embrace the CD format. CDs can be produced quickly and inexpensively, so no matter how you spin it, we can expect to see more CDs manufactured and sold in the Marketplace. Halfway through 2022, Discogs has already seen close to 2 million CDs sales in the Marketplace.

Looking for new ways to enjoy music at home? A Marantz CD player is a great option for making the most of your compact discs.

Published in partnership with Marantz. 

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