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Best Buy ends CD sales in stores as streaming continues to drive music revenue

This weekend officially marked the end of an era for retailer Best Buy. The company ended its sales of compact discs on July 1, a move that was first hinted at back in February. Although CDs won’t be on the shelves, Best Buy will continue selling vinyl in stores for at least two more years.

The move is a strong reaction from the retail sector in response to the steady drop in physical music sales. The RIAA data for 2017 found that all physical sales generated just a 17% share of the U.S. music industry revenue for the year, while streaming has skyrocketed to a 65% share. Total physical product sales fell 4% to $1.5 billion for 2017, and CD shipments declined 6% to $1.1 billion. Vinyl has, for several reports, been the lone bright spot in physical formats, although it is still a small niche commanding revenue of just $395 million.

Anna Washenko

12 Comments

  1. Speaking of streaming, yet another small/medium webcaster has bit the dust. BoomerRadio(dot)com ended their stream June 30. Sad to learn about that.

    • Better to say that streaming is modernizing the music industry. After a period of disruption and lowered revenue, streaming is now reviving the record industry.

  2. Spotify is Killing the Music Industry
    Update 06/19/20118 Payment from cdBaby:
    $43.51 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify

    The above payment represents 435 pages
    with an average of 20 to 50 streams per page!
    An Average of 25 streams per page time 435 pages would equal 10,875 streams
    On FM or AM Radio that would equal $870.00
    Spotify is Ripping all of us Off !!!

    • Like Mr. Hill said above, streaming is modernizing the music industry, not killing it.

    • Dave, your figures seem outrageously wrong. Please explain how you arrive at the AM/FM payments — keeping in mind that AM/FM pays zero to labels and artists for use of recordings. ALSO: your stream counts are miniscule. 10,000 impressions would be accomplished on AM/FM by a small-market station playing a track once. You cannot possibly be saying that one radio play pays out $870 to anybody. Please justify your figures, or revise them, before posting them again on RAIN News.

  3. Drake destroys day-one Spotify records with 132m plays of new album Scorpion
    Drake destroys day-one Spotify records with 132m plays of new album Scorpion

    78,744,748 streams divided by 100 = 787,447 X .06 cents per play = $472,468 ($473 thousand)
    On am or FM that many plays would = $7,087,027 (7 Million)

  4. Posted on July 2, 2018 by Anna Washenko

    This weekend officially marked the end of an era for retailer Best Buy. The company ended its sales of compact discs on July 1, a move that was first hinted at back in February. Although CDs won’t be on the shelves, Best Buy will continue selling vinyl in stores for at least two more years.

    The move is a strong reaction from the retail sector in response to the steady drop in physical music sales. The RIAA data for 2017 found that all physical sales generated just a 17% share of the U.S. music industry revenue for the year, while streaming has skyrocketed to a 65% share. Total physical product sales fell 4% to $1.5 billion for 2017, and CD shipments declined 6% to $1.1 billion. Vinyl has, for several reports, been the lone bright spot in physical formats, although it is still a small niche commanding revenue of just $395 million.

    • Practicality and portability are why more and more people are opting for streaming. The music you stream doesn’t take up storage space and it is accessible to you anytime, anywhere.

    • When I was younger, there were plenty of times I wasted money on an album, learning the hard way that just the single was the best song on the album. Streaming helps me make better music purchasing decisions.

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