A music industry insider says that the CD format will be killed off next year to make way for digital-only music sales.
A report by Sideline claims that the major labels will stop pressing CDs by the end of 2012 as a result of falling sales and the growing popularity of digital stores. It says that special edition albums, and those from the biggest artists, will continue on CD. Sideline fall short of revealing their source, or providing an official statement.
We find these claims hard to believe. Digital music accounts for only 29% of album sales, and while vinyl is seeing a resurgence, it remains a tiny portion of the industry. CDs certainly face a decline in sales, but it is too early for major labels to pull the plug on a format which still generates a significant income for the industry.
However, digital music sales continue to rise. This week we reported on record digital album sales, which have already broken the 2010 record with two months to go before the end of the year.
Artists like Coldplay and Adele appear responsible for giving digital music sales a boost thanks to their huge popularity on iTunes, and the prevalence of music-enabled smartphones seems to be making the death of the CD a certainty. But when?
Many UG readers comment that they prefer CDs, citing the better quality of the WAV format on which it is encoded. However, improvements in digital technology and storage will eventually match that of the CD, leaving little reason to continue using the older format.
If you love CDs, what would make you give in and go fully digital? Is is the quality, or the fact that you can't admire the artwork in your hands?