CD Sales Rise Nationwide and at Omaha Record Store

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – “I don’t see this going away. No no. Is it like pop culture? It never goes away,” said Mark Farhart, avid CD collector and employee at Homer’s Music and Gifts in the Old Market.

Streaming is the most popular way to get our music today, giving us access to almost any song at the touch of a finger. But for years there has been a resurgence in physical forms of music like vinyl records and now CDs.

Data from the Recording Industry Association of America shows that in 2021, CD sales increased for the first time since 2004.

“There’s something to be said for watching it, you know?” said Farhart.

Farhart thinks there’s something special about peeling off that plastic, opening the CD case, and looking through the booklet inside.

But why the recent growth in popularity? Farhart says the pandemic likely played a role.

“I think a lot of the pandemic has also created a need for people to relive their childhoods too. And it made people feel better during the pandemic. To receive something in the mail, to come into contact with something. So I think, yeah, I think it’s really created a surge of interest in it,” Farhart said.

Mike Fratt is the general manager of Homer’s. He says people are attracted to CDs because they are cheaper than vinyl and there is currently a backlog in vinyl production.

“There is not enough capacity available at the pressing plants to meet market needs, so they say they are eight or nine months behind schedule. So that drives more people to the CD if they can’t get the vinyl,” Fratt said.

This recent trend is mirrored in Homer, proving that there’s always a market for novelty and nostalgia.

“Our business has been robust over the past two years. We grew significantly in 2021 compared to 2020. The pandemic played some part in that, but we grew about 29% in our CD business and we’re on track for another very good year this year,” Fratt said.

Homer’s is gearing up for Record Store Day on April 23, which is an annual celebration of independent record stores. It’s always a busy day, and this year they will have hundreds of exclusive releases available.

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Jack L. Goldstein