Saturday, April 9, 2016

Kanye West is right about CDs being marked for death

Last month, hip-hop artist Kanye West announced that he would not issue his new album on compact disc. His decision might not make good business sense, since CDs still generate a lot of revenue. But it’s another indication that music sold on physical media is on the wane.
Last year, music on physical media accounted for 28.8% of U.S. music sales. It trailed streaming (34.3%) and digital downloads (34%), according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Music on physical formats generated $2.02 billion in 2015, down 10% from the prior year. Most of that ($1.52 billion) came from album CDs. Unit sales of album CDs dropped 13.9% to 122.9 million in the U.S. last year, RIAA said.
Only streaming music services are showing growth right now, which is why West is focused on delivering his new album “The Life of Pablo” through Tidal.
“No more CDs from me,” West wrote on Twitter on March 7. (See articles by NBC and Engadget.)
Of course, the mercurial West could always change his mind.

Photo: Cover of Kanye West album “The Life of Pablo.”

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