Billboard reports consumer electronics giant Best Buy has announced the company will stop selling compact discs in July. The move comes as audiophiles increasingly choose paid subscription services and mobile apps over the once popular silvery round plastic encodings. Ease of convenience has seriously reshaped listening habits; do not even try looking back. Meanwhile, Best Buy may not be the only retailer making changes.
A New Routine
In a similar sign of the times, discount store Target has also revealed the chain’s decision to stop carrying CDs could come as early as April, unless the existing business model with music suppliers changes. In an about-face to its usual operating procedure, Target only wants to pay wholesalers on a piece-by-piece basis for CDs that sell and then return the unsold inventories. No matter how you slice it, that falls under the heading of consignment. So far, Amazon and Walmart are bucking the trend. Nevertheless, CD ownership cannot compete with the enormous variety offered by music subscriptions and the easy accessibility of downloads.
At home, contemporary listening enthusiasts have streaming services; on the go, mobile apps generally rule. Like cassettes and other obsolete music formats, economic forecasts for the U.S. indicate CDs are quickly becoming a matter of cumbersome, generational nostalgia. Oddly enough, in perhaps a testament to the analog warmth often described by hi-fidelity enthusiasts, vinyl continues to hold its own in the retail marketplace, albeit a small percentage of overall sales.
I feel badly about this trend, but like with most everything else in life, as technology evolves so do our habits and preferences. Personally, I like having a physical CD, yet have little time to listen to them, as I’m always listening to new music from artists who’ve requested reviews. I finish one review, then I’m on to the next. In fact, a few artists have graciously sent me a copy of their CD, but after having listened to their EP or album 4-5 times in preparation for writing my review, I don’t have the time, nor is there a strong desire to spend my precious time listening to it again, unless I play it in my car.
Thanks for your perspective. Love your music reviews!!!!!
You’re welcome, and thanks for the compliment, Paul!