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Throwback Thursday: CDs

Zach Epstein
May 5th, 2011 at 3:45 PM

A friend of the site recently brought our attention to an interesting service called Murfie, which allows users to trade in old CDs for digital music downloads. After taking a trip down memory lane to a time when lining up outside Tower Records for a new album release at midnight was a regular occurrence, we decided to dedicate this week’s installment of Throwback Thursday to the Compact Disc. We typically reserve this segment for products that are dead and buried, but we thought we could make an exception since CDs definitely have one foot in the grave right now. CDs took music album revenue to the highest point it may ever reach back in 1999 when sales totalled a whopping $14.6 billion. Fast forward to 2010, however, and revenue from CD sales fell to just $3.36 billion — compare that to $2.2 billion in digital music sales in the same year. Of course the music industry as a whole is in the midst of a steep downward spiral that not even the advent of digital music has been able to impede. Only 13 albums went platinum in 2010, and only four albums sold 2 million copies or more last year. According to Nielsen SoundScan, 326.2 million albums were sold in 2010 — the lowest total the company has ever recorded in the 20 years it has been tracking album sales.

BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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