The compact disc has its best year for six years as tech bible Wired touts the format

Compact disc sales have enjoyed their best year since 2015 – and now tech bible Wired has thrown its weight behind the five inch disc. 

ERA research shows UK compact disc revenues declined just 3.9% in 2021 (to £150.1m). It comes in stark contrast to recent years when double digit declines have become the norm as consumers switch to streaming. 

Support for the format has now come in the unlikely shape of Wired magazine – best-known for extolling the virtues of new and emerging technologies. 

In an article headlined You Should Listen to CDs, it highlights the sound quality, convenience, value for money and availability of the format which made its debut in the UK market 40 years ago. 

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “The advantages of the compact disc are the same today as they were back then – incredible sound quality and convenience combined with the immersive album experience so many people now enjoy with vinyl. More than 15m CD albums were sold in the UK in 2021 and it is clear many people still value them.” 

Could this mean we are on the verge of a CD revival to match the 13-year-long resurrection of vinyl? 

“At the moment,” said Bayley, “a full-scale revival looks unlikely, but many said the same about vinyl. What is most important is that the music industry continues to commit to making a diverse range of formats available. History shows that the more formats you make available, the more music fans will buy – and ultimately the consumer is king.”

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