Production of the once in demand CD has dropped 88% since 2001.
Thirty-five years after the format was introduced as one of the greatest audio advancements since the birth of recorded music — and unwittingly unleashed digitized music into the wild — the once indestructible compact disc received another existential wound in early 2018 after a report that two big box retailers were reassessing their approaches to physical CD sales.
Electronics outlet Best Buy will stop carrying most CDs in their stores, and Target is attempting to negotiate with distributors to try to switch to a consignment model, according to sources in the music business who declined to speak on the record for fear of jeopardizing business relationships. The news was first reported by Billboard.
The shift further confirms the format’s precipitous fall: Since peak plastic in 2001, CD sales have dropped 88%, from 712 million units to 85.4 million in 2017, according to Nielsen Music.
With casual music fans done with discs in favor of streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, Best Buy is ceding the market to online retailers including Amazon and independent stalwarts such as Amoeba Music.
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