Gartner sounds death knell for CD

Is this the end of the CD?
Is this the end of the CD?

Physical media has taken a bit of a kicking this year, with VHS finally popping its clogs and the demise of Woolworths meaning there's one fewer retail chain to purchase CDs and DVDs from.

Just to put the boot in further, analyst group Gartner has come to the conclusion that music labels should ditch the CD and focus solely on downloads.

Research VP at Gartner, Mark McGuire, believes that a 'digital first' strategy is the only way for the labels to survive, saying: "By propping up the CD business, rather than fully investing in online distribution alternatives, the major labels and the larger music industry have neither succeeded in stamping out piracy nor done much to recreate the business models of the old 'record business'.

"Music labels should instead emphasize 'digital first,' making all new releases and catalogue issues via digital services and moving CDs to an on-demand publishing mode."

CD giveaway

He also went on to say: "The industry's comfort with past marketing and promotional practices centered on CD launches is ingrained and difficult to give up.

"But the reality is that digital natives and immigrants are more interested in convenience and choice. This is not to say that the physical CD would disappear altogether. Rather, it could shift to being a promotional tool to be sold or given away at concerts for example."

If you can't sell them, then you may as well give them away...

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.