What is a CD?
A CD, or Compact Disc, is a plastic disc that contains digital data. It was first released in Japan by Philips and Sony in 1982. A typical CD can hold up to 74 minutes of audio, and around 18 tracks. It may also include additional material that appears when the disc is used on a computer, such as track names, album art, and program notes. CD sales peaked in 2000 and have generally declined since due to music download and streaming services.
In 2021, however, CD sales rose in the U.S. for the first time in almost two decades. According to The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) data, CD sales increased 47.7% from 2020 to 2021. It seems that some people still enjoy having a physical product to listen to music, as well as to gift music to others. In 2021, new albums and re-releases from major artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift, and BTS also likely contributed to the increase in CD sales. The sound quality on CDs is very high -- it is better than MP3 downloads and better than Spotify. Apple Music and Amazon Music have CD quality music (also called "lossless").
Vinyl record sales have continued to increase for years now, but they are more of a collector's item and are not as practical as the Compact Disc, and also do not have as high sound quality. The rise in CD sales over vinyl could be due to vinyl shortages, the high sound quality of CDs, or the lower cost - records are much more expensive to produce and purchase.
A recent U.K. study found that one in six children between ages 8 to 15 still listen to CDs!
Why are people still listening to CDs?
Maestro Classics sent out a questionnaire to our customer list in 2022, asking if they prefer CDs or MP3s. A majority of customers said they prefer CDs for multiple reasons:
They do not want their children to have more screen time
They enjoy giving Maestro Classics CDs as gifts to their children
Their children are able to play the CDs by themselves
They like owning the physical product
CDs are great for listening to in the car (if you still have a CD player in your vehicle)
CDs are available to purchase after concerts and performances
Why is Maestro Classics not on streaming platforms?
The main reason that Maestro Classics is not on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music is because artists hardly make any money from streams. In order to keep our business running, we have opted to keep our music available for purchase only, in the form of CDs and MP3s. Maestro Classics CDs can be found online on our website and on Amazon, as well as from various smaller retailers. Maestro Classics MP3s can be found on our website, iTunes, and Amazon.
Why did Maestro Classics decide not to raise our CD prices?
At the end of last year, we resolved that we were going to need to raise our prices due to the rising cost of production, materials, and shipping. However, we have now decided that we want to make our albums available to as many people as possible, and thus have decided to keep our prices where they are. Since we are not on streaming services, we still want people to continue to have access to our music.