Ask people where they get their music from and you’d almost expect them to answer iTunes. You couldn’t be more wrong. Fact of the matter is, people are still getting their music fix from (wait for it) CDs. Yes, the good old compact disc is still selling and people are still flocking to music stores to buy their favourite artists’ CDs. And Nielsen Soundscan’s got the figures to prove it.
According to Nielsen, 193 million CDs were purchased in 2012 compared to the 118 million digital downloads made last year. This just goes to show that people still want their CDs despite the fact that they can download online media formats like mp3. And there are reasons behind this:
I asked a few of my friends whether they still buy CDs or download music files online and one answered that she still buys CDs, especially when they’re “something classic and collectible”. Collectability is why people still buy CDs.
Most people grew up being able to keep actual physical reminders or souvenirs of their favourite artists’ albums. Grandparents have their Beatles vinyl LPs, parents have their Nirvana cassette tapes, and children have, well, their Taylor Swift CDs (wouldn’t have chosen Taylor Swift as example but despite the predictability of her “boyfriend-breakup-hit song” formula, the kid’s got the album sales to prove that it works).
The point is that people love the tangibility and collectability of CDs. The CD, including the album cover with all the artwork, serves as a kind of connection one can have with the artist. Of course the value further increases when the album cover bears the artist’s autograph.
Artists, on the other hand, still love giving away CDs rather than asking fans to go to a URL or website. Even famous talk show hosts like Ellen Degeneres still love giving away CDs of artists that perform on their shows. And the reason for this is technology.
There may be a surge in smart technology purchases as proven by a throng of subscribers being supported by various internet and RingCentralphone service providers but that doesn’t mean everyone has fully adapted. For instance, many still have CD players in their cars or at home. While recent car models have the latest infotainment systems capable of playing mp3s, many older models don’t, unless owners are willing to make upgrades. So what this means is that despite the fact that they take up space, CDs still matter to many.
Album Vs. Single
Fans buy and listen to an entire CD album to support their favorite artists. As one of my friends said, “I buy CDs of artists I like to support album sales and to have the best quality sound for music that I love to listen to. Digital media formats are simply, at least for me, backup files. It is tempting to just download mp3 formats but there should be dignity in consumerism, too.” Need I say more?