It seems that while vinyl records have seen exponential growth in demand in the last few years, the CD format may not have been doing quite so well, especially in the States.
US electronics retailer Best Buy will reportedly be pulling CDs from its shelves by the 1st July. Best Buy used to be a major music merchandiser in America, but CD sales have gradually declined over the years as streaming became the vastly preferred method of listening. Without the same nostalgic or stylistic value of vinyl, it seems unlikely that CDs are going to see a surge in popularity any time soon.
That’s not to say that all is well and good for vinyl either. While many places have seen a vast increase in vinyl sales, Best Buy may not be thinking of them as a worthwhile investment. They will continue to carry vinyl for the next two years to honour a commitment it made to vendors, but only approximately 8.6 million vinyl albums sold in America last year compared with 74.5 million CDs, according to figures from BuzzAngle. It may be that large retailers are not seeing the same swell in business are smaller record stores.
Target, the second largest retailer in the States (the largest being Walmart) is also reportedly threatening to stop carrying CDs if they can’t be sold on consignment basis, meaning it wants labels to take the inventory risk for unsold CDs.
Whether or not this is indicative of worldwide statistics is unclear, but this could well be the sign that the age of CDs is coming to a quick end, much as happened to vinyl when CDs themselves first dropped onto the market.