Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The CD Is Dead!

Slate magazine has an interesting article about the slow death of CD's.

By Daniel Gross

Mozart wrote only one Requiem, but in recent years, music journalists have written about 80 requiems for the compact disc, mostly in the key of boo-hoo major. Data from the Recording Industry Association of America show that between 2000 and 2005, the number of CDs shipped fell 25 percent to 705.4 million, while their value slipped 20 percent, from $13.2 billion to $10.5 billion. During the first six months of 2006, CD sales dropped 14 percent more. And as Ethan Smith wrote in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) last week, CD sales are down another 20 percent in the first quarter of 2007. On Monday, Jeff Leeds, writing in the New York Times, penned an obituary for the CD, which has been driven into oblivion by consumers' preference for digital singles over albums. Last year, hundreds of music stores closed, among them the 89 outlets of the greatly missed (subscription required) Tower Records.

Conclusion: The CD is dead!

Except, it's not. Last Sunday, Paul de Barros of the Seattle Times
chronicled the growth of Silver Platters, a local chain of CD stores that just took over an old Tower Records space. Meanwhile, savvy new-era businesses are jumping into the CD business. The same day Smith's piece appeared in the Journal, Starbucks announced its record label would issue its first CD this summer, from Paul McCartney. Earlier this month, Amazon launched a classical music retail outlet, capitalizing on the genre's impressive 2006 comeback, which was driven by massive CD sales from the unholy trinity of cheesy, nonclassical classical artists: Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Il Divo.

For the complete article link to Slate magazine.

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