Are Music CDs Already Passe?

Are plastic music CDs destined to join vinyl records as obsolete? Perhaps they already have.

Market researchers at the NPD Group report U.S. consumers spent 10 percent less on music in 2007 compared to the previous year thanks to declining CD sales and an up-tick in a la carte digital sold online at services like iTunes Music Store.

But a decline in CD sales isn't just be traced back to the fact more individual music tracks are being sold online. NPD says the use of peer-to-peer networks to illegally swap music tracks continues to rob the industry of music sales. The percent of the Internet population in the U.S. who engaged in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing reached a plateau of 19 percent last year, according to NPD. The bad news is the number of files each user downloaded increased and P2P music sharing continued to grow aggressively among teens.

Music CDs Going, Going, and ......

Numbers aside, the fact of the matter is that the allure and costs of owning a shiny compact disc has been outweighed by the extreme convenience of being able to download CDs or a la carte songs online through online music services like iTunes or for free entirely through peer-to-peer networks.

Personally, I haven't purchased a CD in probably seven or eight years and have no intention on purchasing one ever again. Is the influx of online buyers, like myself, really have the potential to completely eliminate the CD market? I would say yes, but what do you think? Out of your next 10 CDs purchased, how many will come in the actual CD form?

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Travis Hudson

PC World (US online)
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