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Death To The Cd!
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Death to the Cd!

The CD had a great run.

It took over the way we listen to music in the mid 90's and peaked around 2000 with about a billion CDs sold that year.

According to Billboard, a magazine and website dedicated to tracking the music industry as a whole, 2012 will see about 175 million CDs sold this year. That's about 18% of the sales of 2000.

Although we may be reading the last rights of the CD we are witnessing a coming of age in digital music distribution. The development of different ways to deliver music to the consumer has been a major key in the growth.

The reason is most people got fed up with buying a CD for as much as $18.99 to get 15 songs and only ever listen to 3 of them. Essentially, we were buying a product that gives us 9 minutes worth of enjoyment and to get it we had to hit the skip button 12 times.

That six bucks and four button presses per song.

When iTunes came around and offered $.99 downloads of single tracks it by itself showed the music industry that an alternate model could work. That they could make money by breaking up an artists album into individual downloads.

If individual song downloads can work, what else is possible?

Right now, the two other main type of internet music providers are the radio model and the subscription on-demand model.

With the radio model, you often have the option of free or paid service, with the paid version being ad-free. You won't get the option of selecting which individual songs you want to hear; instead, you'll tell the site what style of music you want, be it by telling it an artist, song or musical genre. It's really convenient when you just want to listen to some music but have nothing particular in mind.

Two of the biggest internet radio services are Pandora and Spotify.

With Spotify, however, when you pay for their subscription you get their on-demand service, as well. This allows you access to listen to any specific song you want, a feature Pandora's service does not currently offer.

They offer the on-demand service while you're connected to the internet, of course. But, they also give you the option to download the song and listen while you're not online. This is great for smart phone or tablet users who want to listen to their favorite albums or playlists on the go without burning through their data plan.

Although the CD hasn't been completely offed yet, it's in bad condition. The bulk of it's use from this point on will be using CD-Rs for computers or car stereos.

If you bought one of the 175 million CDs sold this year, have you really looked into listening to music online?


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