The CD Revival & Vinyl Revival, are they the wrong terms? Is this is the physical music revival?

Please watch the video above for the full report.

This is another update on the CD Revival. I have been asked to do this as more mainstream media outlets are running articles and features talking about the CD Revival. Many of these still find it hard to talk about the CD without making a few digs at the format saying it was never as cool as vinyl.

However, I feel all these articles from the N.M.E, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone Magazin are missing the point. It is not about simply CDs or Vinyl. What we are seeing is a physical music revival. All formats are relevant.

Streaming has 80% of the market, I can use it as the radio to discover new bands and music but unless you are a legacy band or a big label the financial return for artists is very poor.

Streaming can also make music become a background activity. It becomes the tomato sauce sitting on the plate of your main meal. When you put a physical album on you can commit to that 20 mins aside of a vinyl album or the 40-60 mins of a CD. You can just be with the music and nothing else.

The main voices I listen to are Music Week and Billboard, they are basically trade papers and there is little spin as they mainly talk via industry stats.

I thought these two quotes were very encouraging for the CD Format.

“We need to give the CD format a bit more love and invest in it, just as we have done with vinyl” Charles Wood (Sony Music)

“I think the release schedule in 2021 really helped to support this mini-revival and it’s clear that the CD remains an important format for both consumers and us,” Linda Walker (Warners Music)

Here are some of the comments I have had from the Now Spinning YouTube channels on this subject

“One thing that comes to my mind when considering this issue is the fact that I can remember where and when I bought the majority of my records and CDs. And this is something I value. I like the fact that I can picture the day I first listened to it, and that when I pick it off the shelf today – and decades may have passed in the interim – that’s something I treasure. It’s the very same thing I’m holding in my hands. It makes me feel good. If all I ever did was Stream, and assuming I was starting out now, there would be none of that. Of course, you don’t miss what you’ve never had, but streamers are, I think, missing out on something that can and does have meaning and significance in our lives. That might sound like I’m over-egging the pudding a bit…but maybe not. My life wouldn’t be poorer without a physical library of music, and perhaps people are waking up that idea?” Kevin

“I have never kept a diary but in some ways, I have never needed to because my music collection does that for me. Some albums can contain several memories from different times. The first time you heard it and bought it, or the first time you played it to someone else. Just the physical item can remind you where you were, what you were doing, your hopes, dreams etc. All these memories sit there waiting to be triggered not just by the music but just by picking up the album cover or CD case.” Phil 

“I enjoy both formats – vinyl and CD. I love browsing through the racks – again, of both formats – at record shops. That’s a kind of therapy for me. I love holding the physical product in my hands. There’s a much deeper connection to the music and the artist. It’s the whole experience. When I look at my record & CD collection I can see my whole life in there. So many memories and experiences – all reflected in the music (and the packaging). Who wouldn’t want that? Not true music nuts like us, I suppose. Anyway, well done, Phil, for championing ALL formats. You’re seeing through the clickbate headlines and making good sense of it all. I think I can remember where each record or CD in my collection came from. Which record shop it was. Or which concert. Or who I received it from. My whole life is in there. So many memories” Clive

“Very well informed content Phil. I feel our music collections reflect our life journeys, we probably all reach for an album we have not listened to in a while and all sorts of memories are triggered, good and often not so good. As Kevin commented earlier, we also remember where and when we bought it and that is important because where were we in our lives then? I took a walk yesterday to my local HMV to buy the latest Saxon album on CD and I felt the same thrill at sixty-four that I did at fourteen. Long may the latter feeling continue for us all” Peter

“I was in HMV today and the guy at the till said that he had noticed a big shift towards physical media again, both vinyl and cd, since last November, particularly amongst younger buyers” Paul

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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