Thanks to streaming libraries, it’s easier than ever to listen to music and watch movies whenever you want. Still, there’s a reason why physical media isn’t going away any time soon. We’ll explain the resurgence of physical media and why it’s still worth purchasing in our breakdown.
The Physical Media Comeback in Music
Although the dominant medium for consuming music is still via streaming platforms, the physical formats of music many thought would die have made a strong comeback. Since 2005, unit sales for vinyl have only gone up, and last year, they reached over 40 million—vastly surpassing the 2020 mark of 21 million.
For the first time in over three decades, sales for vinyl records exceeded $1 billion. Compact discs are also growing in popularity, with 2021 being the first year-over-year sales increase in nearly two decades.
Clearly, there’s a growing demand for physical media, especially in the music industry, but why?
Why You Should Still Buy Physical Media
There are numerous reasons why more people are going back to the old ways of physical music media. Consumers’ typical motivations include quality, ownership, and because physical media offers the best of both worlds.
Digital libraries have to compress sound files to reduce their size and make their media easier to use. For some casual listeners, there’s no difference, but for real music and sound enthusiasts, if they’re paying for music, they want the absolute best quality.
There’s no compression or adjustment in vinyl records for convenience, leading to a purer and classic sound.
Ownership and Control
If you subscribe to a music or streaming library like Netflix, you’re beholden to what they can offer. Sure, they may have your favorite musical artist or movie available, but that could change next month, and you have no control over it.
Once you buy a vinyl record or DVD, that’s yours forever, and you don’t have to pay monthly subscription fees to enjoy it.
Can Get the Best of Both Worlds
Even when consumers decide to purchase a physical copy of the music or a movie or TV show, they can typically still get the benefits of digital files. It’s simple to digitize your vinyl record collection, and many DVDs and Blu-rays also come with digital editions of the movie or show, so getting a physical copy is like the best of both worlds.
It Brings People Together
It may be convenient to browse a streaming library for music on your phone, but isn’t it more fun to go somewhere and talk with other music lovers? Physical media brings people together more than digital streaming libraries on our phones ever could.
Although streaming companies and apps are more prominent than ever, we can see that physical media isn’t going away any time soon. If you are starting to feel sick of paying subscription fees for streaming libraries, consider the value of physical media.