March 9, 2016 Vince Valholla

CDs Aren’t Dead Yet, But They’re on Life Support

When was the last time you actually purchased an album on CD? When was the last time you listened to a CD that an aspiring artist gave you on the street? Out of ten people, it’s a possibility that only one person would answer yes to that first question. The second question, well, you’d be lucky if anyone says yes that. Make no mistake, people still buy CDs. Actually, in 2014 close to half of the recording industry’s global revenues came from physical format sales. In my opinion, the only reason why some people still buy CDs is because there isn’t another compact physical format available.

Kanye West recently tweeted that he’s no longer releasing his albums on CD format. He also said that he’ll only be streaming his albums. This means he could potentially lose out on at least 30-40% of potential sales. I personally want CDs to die too. Just over a year ago I tweeted that our label, would never press up “promotional” CDs again. Imagine if we printed 5,000 CDs; I could imagine that if every copy was given to someone, who would actually have a working CD player?


Just about 3 years ago, I attended the ASCAP Expo with my team. I was in the hotel lobby and Warner Music Executive, Mike Caren, was in waiting on his car at the valet. Someone ran up to him with a CD and asked him to check it out. He responded, “I don’t own a CD player”. Today most people listen to music on their phones, tablets or computers. If you’re driving, you are probably plugging up your phone with an aux cord, bluetooth, ect. The writing is on the wall and the only reason why the CD isn’t fully extinct yet is because there isn’t another physical format to replace it. Cassette tapes outlived the 8-Track and the CD outlived the cassette. It’s time for another physical format to be introduced in music.

Do you still listen to CDs? Let me know in the comment section or tweet me @VinceValholla!


Vince Valholla

Vince Valholla is Chairman/Chief Executive of Valholla Entertainment, Inc. Valholla is a full service Music Label & Management Company based in Miami, FL. Valholla's 2015 release of Kirby Maurier's "Doing The Most" was one of the highest selling independent R&B albums in the South Atlantic Region. His opinion is his own.