The CD, which revolutionized the music industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, could be on the way out.
Best Buy will stop selling compact discs on July 1 nationwide, and Target is reportedly setting new terms with music companies that could severely impact CD sales at the retailer.
The threats to the CD format come as music streaming continues to explode in the music industry. Digital music sales overtook physical format sales in 2015, and that trend is likely to continue. Paid subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music are experiencing substantial growth, increasing by more than 60% in 2017.
Interestingly, vinyl will continue to have a place on Best Buy's shelves — it will fulfill a commitment to vendors by continuing to carry LPs for the next two years.
It's not immediately clear if Best Buy's decision will impact Canada and the U.S. in the same way; A report from Billboard seems to suggest that this is a company-wide change, rather than a region-specific policy. This is particularly big news since Best Buy absorbed electronics giant Future Shop a couple of years ago.
That's not the only bad news for CDs: Billboard also revealed that Target is making a shift to selling CDs and DVDs on a consignment model. This means that the store would only pay for CDs and DVDs when they are sold, and the financial risk would fall on the music and video suppliers. This doesn't impact Canada, of course, since Target closed all of its Canadian locations in 2015.