The Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc

The Rise and Fall of the Compact Disc

According to a recent Bloomberg report, U.S. retail giant Best Buy has informed its suppliers that it will no longer sell CDs starting July 1. While this rather extreme step comes as a bit of a surprise, considering that millions of Americans, especially older ones, still buy and listen to CDs, the demise of the compact disc seems inevitable at this point.

Amid all the talk of music streaming and the renaissance of vinyl, the continued plummeting of CD sales hasn’t been getting a lot of attention in recent years. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), CD album sales in the United States have dropped by 90 percent since peaking in 2000 and are currently at their lowest level since 1987 (when Michael Jackson’s Bad and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack topped the Billboard charts).

Having been hit by the rise of MP3 players in the early 2000s, CD sales nearly halved between 2000 and 2007, which is when smartphones and the first music streaming services emerged to put the final nail in the compact disc’s little round coffin.

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