K-pop move helps drive CD resurgence

K-pop group aespa help boost increase in CD sales - Newsreel
K-pop group aespa has released a new CD that comes with a CD player. | Photo: Supplied official publicity picture of K-pop group aespa.

CDs and records, once believed defeated by the streaming era, are making a clear comeback as new-generation groups reboot packaged music.

The latest round of the comeback came last week with the release of a new album by K-pop group aespa. The album Armageddon is sold as a CD with a CD player.

The Korea Times reported that the CD players were needed because many fans did not own one.

As of this week, the CD player version was already sold out on many platforms and more than one million were expected to be bought in the frenzy.

The aespa move came just weeks after Goldman Sachs reported that physical music sales were up 13 percent in 2023. This included a 15 percent jump in CD sales and 14 percent in vinyl albums.

Goldman Sachs said the growth was being driven by “superfans” who were looking for collectable versions of music from their favourite acts.

Earlier this year, the digital and entertainment retail association in the United Kingdom (ERA) reported similar trends, describing 2023 as a “blockbuster year” for physical music sales.

Taylor Swift, Take That, the Rolling Stones, Lewis Capaldi, Lana Del Rey, Blur, Olivia Rodrigo, Pink, Kylie Minogue, Foo Fighters, Metallica and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds all achieved large sales of physical albums.

Physical music sales first showed signs of lifting in 2021, the first increase since 2001.