Compact discs – is the end near?

Late last year we covered a controversial report about the alleged end of compact discs, which claimed what’s left of the music business may stop manufacturing CDs by the end of 2012.

Our story sure got a lot of reaction from a lot of readers, and in today’s day and age, would it really be a surprise that the CD is on the way out?

Now Rolling Stone has weighed in with a report headlined, “Is the CD Era Finally Over?,” but this story gave CDs more time before the format could potentially be retired. 

Steve Knopper writes that 223 million CDs were bought last year, and it’s less than 50% of all sales of music.


It shouldn’t be any surprise that digital sales have blown CDs out the door, even vinyl’s had a big comeback in recent years, and as a source told Stone, “Bottom line? I’m going to say [CDs have] three years – Walmart might squeeze five years out of it.” 

Another source told the magazine, “Anyone still betting their future on the CD aspect of the business is toast.”


Yet, unlike the previous report we cited from, Rolling Stone feels the CD won’t be done right away. Fans do want something physical they can hold and hang on to, but as we’ve also previously reported here on TG, vinyl’s been having a comeback in recent years because fans don’t want a format forced onto them. 

Ultimately from reading the Stone report, the other shoe is indeed going to drop at some point in the near to medium future, just obviously not tomorrow.