3 Feb 2018 16:01
Kids nowadays might not even remember, but most of the music was sold in physical format still back in last decade or so. Actually, in 2001, the U.S. CD sales peaked at 800 million copies sold - having collapsed to mere 89 million in 2017.
During the CD's heyday, Best Buy was one of the major CD retailers in the U.S. Now, Best Buy has decided to cease selling CDs altogether as they generate only $40 in revenue. In June, CDs will disappear from all Best Buy stores across the U.S.
At the same time, another large retail chain, Target, is pressuring record labels to agree to buy back the unsold CDs it cannot sell through its stores. Traditionally, the unsold inventory has been retailer's problem, not labels' problem, but as CD sales continue to plummet, Target wants to change that.
According to IFPI's global stats, physical records still generate appx 34 percent of the global sales and are still somewhat strong in certain geographical areas, like in Japan and Germany. But digital revenue, driven by Spotify and YouTube grew as much as 177 percent in 2016 and are unlikely to slow down.
So, the concept of owning a physical piece of plastic that has music on it, is about to end. Sure, vinyl records and CDs will be made also in future. But you wont find those from local convenience stores, supermarkets or gas stations anymore. You have to find a specialist record store - physical one or an e-commerce site - to buy one.