From the end of the Great War until the Crash of ’29, record sales increased year after year after year. But when the Depression hit, sales of recorded music collapsed by a staggering 95%,
In 1930, 100 million records were sold in the U.S. By 1932, that number dropped to 6 million.
We’ve seen a similar thing since 2000. CD sales reached a peak that year, moving 943 million units in America. In 2017, that number had fallen to about 90 million.
Statista illustrates this collapse nicely.
We’ve seen something similar here in Canada. The industry will be lucky to move 9 million CDs in 2018.
Then again, this really doesn’t matter. Record labels are making far more money from streaming than they do from physical sales. Back in the 1930s, all we had was physical sales, so that collapse was far, far more catastrophic.
Still. fascinating, not?