End of the Music CD Era Is Near

Online streaming and vinyl's comeback are finishing off the compact disk.

Compact Discs. (Photo by: A&G Reporter/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)
Compact Discs. (Photo by: A&G Reporter/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)
UIG via Getty Images

A new Rolling Stone article marks the coming death of the once ubiquitous CD. As the rise of streaming and the vinyl nostalgia wave have taken over the market, the days of artists releasing physical CDs with every record they make will soon end.

The ease of streaming music online is perhaps the greatest cause for dropping CD sales. While CDs managed to survive the early days of the iTunes store and digital downloads, streaming has become increasingly dominant, while CD sales have dropped from 450 million to 89 million over the past decade.

CDs still sell relatively well at places like Walmart, where greatest hits and country records still do brick business. But artists are more interested in seeing their work online and in vinyl than in the CD format. “I definitely believe the next decade is going to be streaming plus vinyl—streaming in the car and kitchen, vinyl in the living room and the den,” said Jack White, lead singer of the The White Stripes.

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