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The CD is Dead? Sure hope not!

Salon: The CD is dead? Not so fast: “Last week, Billboard dropped a two-part music retail bombshell. First, Target is reportedly looking to overhaul its financial arrangement with its music and video vendors. Basically, the shopping giant only wants to pay labels for what product stores actually sell, instead of buying inventory up front and returning unsold merchandise for credit. In an even bigger blow, the article also noted that Best Buy has apparently decided to stop selling CDs in its stores as of July 1…When you don’t have a machine to play CDs, it follows you would buy fewer CDs. But in contemporary times, it’s not a stretch to wonder if companies are responding to consumer demand when they eliminate CD players, or is this another example of corporations shaping consumer habits and hastening the format’s demise, for financial gain? After all, CD (or DVD) drives are still useful and needed for plenty of work purposes, and people now have to purchase them separately. In 2016, The Verge pointed out that Apple’s controversial removal of its headphone jack on newer iPhones helped the company’s bottom line. It’s easy to see something similar happening here. Compared to two decades ago, when CDs were at peak popularity, of course 2017’s sales statistics look anemic. But the compact disc is still the most popular format for people purchasing records. The second-most-popular format, with 66.2 million units sold? Another one pundits love to say is dying, digital albums. And it’s certainly not correct to say that all consumers are eschewing CDs. Luke Sardello, the co-owner of Dallas-based Josey Records, told the Dallas Observer that the store has expanded its used CD inventory, in large part because that slice of its business “has grown year over year the past two years.” …operating under the premise that streaming is now everyone’s default illustrates a big (and classist) presumption: that everyone can access or pay for streaming service subscriptions.[Note: I own over 600 music CDs (and a CD player and stereo tuner with speakers). I use the word “own” specifically because music you download is not necessarily “yours” – specific to licensing and copyright issues. In addition, I highly recommend supporting streaming music stations that have no advertisements and provide a wealth of music to listeners in a wide range of genres – and as always, please donate to organizations that give you so much for free.]

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