This Makes The CD Officially Dead

Gen Y knows the CD isn't what it used to be. Record stores most certainly know it. The previously unimaginable growth of iPods and iTunes should have been a warning sign. Now, you can believe it. A Record exec has said the words -- "the CD as it is right now is dead". Okay, EMI Music Chairman and Chief Executive Alain Levy couched his language a bit -- maybe the way politicians in our country do just before an election saying one thing and meaning another. But it's out there -- he said it and can't take it back -- the CD is dead. In the interest of full disclosure Levy went on to say, "You're not going to offer your mother-in-law iTunes downloads for Christmas". And he is right -- dead right. You're going to buy her an iPod first and then give her iTunes vouchers for Christmas. Ever the optimist for a record executive, Levy thinks that labels need to be more innovative to sell physical content. So he's vowing that as of next year EMI will not release CDs without additional content. If you're wondering as I do why labels continue to hang their future onto something that is "dead" -- quote, unquote -- its because CD sales accounted for more than 70% of total music sales in the first half of this year. Digital sales only 11%. But digital sales are growing and CD sales are -- well, slowly dying. I understand how hard it is to bite the bullet -- I spent a career in the broadcasting business and they may be biting it, but its not the bullet they're biting right now with similar defensive policies. Change is painful. But resisting change is never possible. So, congratulations to EMI for saying what so many people already know about the future of the CD. Now, go work a deal withYouTube like the other majors have done and shakeup your brain trust with lots of hungry Gen Y'ers and develop the next thing mothers-in-law will want to own.