In February, we reported that Best Buy would be pulling the plug on CD sales. Well, it's official, you can no longer get CDs at one of the major US retailers.
According to Billboard, Best Buy's U.S. CD sales generally average about $40 million per year, though the sales of the format were down 18.5% last year in the United States. Best Buy still currently has a vinyl section, but the corporate giant is planning on phasing that out as well.
That leaves very few major retailers left to buy actual physical product. There's Target (who are also considering dropping CDs), WalMart, FYE (which seems to be metal's biggest supporter in the retail space) and then Hot Topic. Of course, there are independent music stores, which are still doing their best to keep the format alive, but even those are dying out.
Basically, in the age of streaming and downloading, CDs are old news. Take a look at these stats from 2017:
Streaming made up 65% of the revenue of 2017 in the industry with 35 million subscriptions to streaming services made last year, compared to 22.7 million in 2016.
Physical sales of music increased 6.5% in 2017 to total $1.5 billion, which is still down a total of 4% from 2016, but according to the RIAA "a lower rate of decline than recent years." CD sales fell 6% from 2016 to 2017 and made $1.1 billion, while vinyl rose 10% and made the industry $395 million.
Digital downloads fell 25% in 2017, which really shouldn't be a massive surprise considering Apple's iTunes is talking about making this the last full year they'll offer the format in the iTunes store.
The CD is going the way of the cassette tape, which means, around 2030, people will be ironically releasing CDs again!