As vinyl enjoys a renaissance in markets all over the world, the future of the compact disc isn’t looking bright in America.
According to Billboard, consumer electronics giant Best Buy will cease carrying CDs on July 1.
Before the rise of streaming services and digital retailers, music sales were a thriving part of the retailer’s business. Labels looking to promote new releases would pay handsomely for promotions and preferred positioning. But now the company’s CD business is only generating about a paltry $40 million annually, making the format a moot point to the store’s bottom line.
Best Buy will continue to carry vinyl for the next two years, keeping a commitment it made to vendors. Sources say vinyl releases will now be sold alongside turntables.
In related news, big box retailer Target wants to change its current arrangement with music distributors to what amounts as selling music on a consignment basis. In other words, the labels have everything to lose once their releases hit the store’s shelves. Sources say labels have until April 1 or May to accept the new terms.
Vinyl came back because of its superior sound and the tactile experience it provides, but will the general public be as nostalgic for CDs if the format goes away? Currently not a consideration for most in this digital age, the fate of the CD could be decided this year by these two retailers.