The future of physical music isn’t looking good. According to Billboard, consumer electronics company Best Buy will no longer carry physical CDs and Target may be following suit in the near future.
Best Buy notified music suppliers that they will cease selling CDs at stores beginning July 1. The move is sure to hurt the already declining sales of CDs as consumers are switching to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal in large numbers. CD sales have already dropped by a sizable 18.5 percent in the past year, Billboard reports.
Despite not carrying CDs, the company will continue to stock their shelves with vinyl, at least for the following year or two due to a commitment it made to vendors.
Target, on the other hand, is awaiting a response from music supplies. The discount retailer has asked to be switched to scanned-based trading, which essentially translates to a type of consignment. Presently, the company pays for CDs and shipping fees if they are unsold and returned to the supplier.
The switch would mean that the company wouldn’t pay for the CDs until they have been sold or scanned at the register. Target has also asked the same of DVD video suppliers. If the CD suppliers don’t acquiesce, Target may follow Best Buy’s lead and remove CDs from its in-store inventory.
Billboard also points out that both Best Buy and Target have been reducing the number of music titles they have been carrying in recent years. Despite the dwindling number of CDs being carried, Target was able to move 500,000 physical copies of Taylor Swift’s latest album Reputation. Not bad considering it was released in November of 2017.