Bad news for the future of CDs (and, let's face it, probably the future of CD wallets, too). Billboard reports two major CD retailers—Best Buy and Target—are reconsidering their relationship with the three-decade-old music format. Sources say Best Buy—which has gone from the "most powerful" music seller in the US to a "reduced and shoddy" selection that brings in only about $40 million a year—will stop selling CDs on July 1. Meanwhile, sources say Target—which is carrying far fewer CDs these days but still managed to move over 500,000 copies of Taylor Swift's most recent album—wants to change to a consignment model where it wouldn't have to pay suppliers for any CDs that go unsold. Sources say at least one major label is considering pulling its music from Target rather than agree to the new financial risk that would represent.
The changes at Best Buy and Target could speed up the CD's demise, but they're far from the first signs of its impending doom. USA Today reports CD sales hit $13.2 billion in 2000, and 712 million CDs were sold in 2001. In the 14 years since that peak, recorded music lost 40% of its global value, according to NPR. In 2016, streaming took over as Americans' main means of listening to music and Kmart stopped selling CDs. In 2017, Ford manufactured its first car without a CD player in 25 years. That same year, CD sales in the US dropped 18.5%. However, while things look bleak now, CDs could always make a vinyl-like comeback a few years down the road. In fact, while Best Buy is giving up on CDs, it will reportedly continue selling vinyl records for another two years. (Speaking of: Sony is doing an about-face after helping kill vinyl.)