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 Is The Death Of The CD Looming?

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Concrete Jesus
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PostSubject: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:58 pm

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artist: cnn date: 07/22/2010 category: general music news



If you think the musical compact disc is dying or dead, you're probably younger than it is.


"Show me a teenager buying a Susan Boyle album on CD and I'll show you someone buying a gift for their grandparent - for Christmas," jokes Billboard senior chart manager and analyst Keith Caulfield. "There is definitely an age component to the consumption of music."



As the music industry as a whole struggles in a down economy and direct download business models like iTunes flourish, the compact disc - which was commercially introduced in 1982 - has the appearance of going the way of vinyl.

And contrary to the recent declaration of singer Prince - who said that the Internet is dead and released his latest CD for free via European newspapers - there's some evidence that consumers aren't as enamored with ripping the cellophane off that new CD as they once were.

According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, in 2007 CDs accounted for 90 percent of album sales in the United States, with digital accounting for the other 10 percent. Just two years later, that number had shifted to 79 percent CDs and 20 percent digital, with the remaining percentage point being made up of vinyl and other media.

Billboard's Caulfield said that so far this year, about 44 million digital albums have been sold, compared with 40 million during the same time frame last year. But while digital sales have increased slightly, CD sales have dropped from 147 million last year to 114 million this year for the same time period.

Caulfield stops short of speculating on a date when CDs might be phased out, but he does see similarities with the history of other media.

"Vinyl was the predominant configuration from the '50s and the '60s all the way up through the early '80s, and then cassettes became the predominant format from the early-mid '80s to the very early '90s," he said. "Then CDs became the predominant format and cassettes really didn't go away until a few years ago. It's kind of a natural progression, to a degree."

That's not to say that some artists aren't still selling well. Country group Lady Antebellum has so far racked up 2.4 million in album sales - both CD and digital - making them the top-selling act so far for 2010. In second place is teen phenom Justin Bieber, with 1.4 million.

"When an artist like a Drake or Eminem sells a bunch of albums, that shows that there are a lot of people that really want to spend money and give money to the artist that they are really, truly a fan of," Caulfield said. "The younger an artist skews in terms of who they appeal to, you'll see a larger share of their album sales tilt towards digital."

One obvious benefit of digital downloads is their ability to scratch an immediate itch. Caulfield observes shows like Fox's "Glee" make songs almost instant hits because "they have already heard and liked the song by the time they download it." Paul Grein, who writes the "Chart Watch" column for Yahoo.com, agrees, seeing hope for the music business in the success of "Glee" and "American Idol," which have helped spike downloads.

Despite the CD's decline, Grein believes the format will be around for the foreseeable future.

"I think it's becoming less of a mass-market item and kind of a niche product that caters to a small but loyal following," he said. "But there are enough cases where we are seeing albums that are selling in big numbers that I think they will be around for a while." Younger-skewing artists, such as singer-rapper Ke$ha, enjoy a larger slice of the digital pie than older-skewing artists such as James Taylor, he says.

Indeed, the format isn't the point, he said. In 100 years, recorded music has gone from cylinders to shellac 78s to vinyl LPs to cassettes, CDs and now digital downloads. Through it all, listeners still crave tunes.

"Music is definitely still in fashion," he said. "It's all around us."


I actually still buy CD's. Most of the time, it is actaully a few bucks cheaper. For instance, I was looking to download Scream by Ozzy. It was $9.99 on Itunes, but $7.99 at Best Buy.
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babaganoosh
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:21 pm

I download for free. I don't even burn them onto CDs anymore, I just plug in my MP3 into my car.
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:09 pm

I just buy CDs period. Never download anymore. There is nothing better then having the hard copy
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:52 pm

I am old school. I like going to a store and buying them and I like having the hard copy. If my PC dies, and it could at anytime, I will not lose the hundreds of dollars of music I own. I buy them and put them on my MP3 player.
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babaganoosh
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:25 pm

Sykesy wrote:
I just buy CDs period. Never download anymore. There is nothing better then having the hard copy
Except having them free where I can make my own hard copy if I really wanted to Very Happy

Concrete Jesus wrote:
I am old school. I like going to a store and buying them and I like having the hard copy. If my PC dies, and it could at anytime, I will not lose the hundreds of dollars of music I own. I buy them and put them on my MP3 player.
Well that's why you should back up your computer and all its contents. In addition to having another copy on my mp3, I also have them backed-up on my desktop and external harddrive as well. You should actually be backing your stuff up even if it's not music files.
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:57 pm

babaganoosh wrote:
Sykesy wrote:
I just buy CDs period. Never download anymore. There is nothing better then having the hard copy
Except having them free where I can make my own hard copy if I really wanted to Very Happy


Yeah but it is not the same, It is a burned disc ...

Plus, Artists don't get any royalties which could explain why music has been on the decline since the early nineties.
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:10 pm

I only buy CD's when I'm a fan of the artists, because a lot of times, I only like a few songs from them and can't get into the majority of their work (e.g. Fall Out Boy). Oh, and with the chance of not being able to get the album, I download them, which I definietly do if it's one of those scernios where you can't get them easily.
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:40 pm

Sykesy wrote:

Yeah but it is not the same, It is a burned disc ...
As a consumer, outside of the little cover booklet with the track listing, is there really a difference?

Sykesy wrote:

Plus, Artists don't get any royalties which could explain why music has been on the decline since the early nineties.
How many doors has it opened for lesser-known artists? Without downloads, who would buy their hard to find CD when they've probably only heard 1 song of that artist that they liked? The largest impact of downloads is on the artists that already make multi-million dollars.

Especially for me, I listen to hundreds of artists, each with maybe only a few songs (with the exception of a few select artists). There's no way I'd go around buying 100+ CDs just to listen to a couple songs from each artist. Let alone having to snoop around internationally just to find mixtapes of artists. If downloads did not exist, it would turn me off music a lot more, further hurting the industry. Is it better for me to download and at least giving them exposure, or not downloading or listening to them at all?
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PostSubject: Re: Is The Death Of The CD Looming?    Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:09 pm

Metallica is my favorite band ever and I want them to get paid for the joy they bring me. It doesn't matter to me that Metallica is already rich as fuck, they still deserve to get paid for what they do. I only buy a few CD's a year. The only ones I have bought this year is Ozzy so far. I plan on buying Black Label Society next month, but that is the only one I know of for the rest of the year. I am not going lecture anyone else that does download things for free, but it isn't what I do.
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