Should we still be buying CDs? Yes.

I think the last time I bought a CD was in the UK about 18 months ago. I’d stumbled on a bootleg recording of The Who’s 1982 “farewell” show at Maple Leaf Gardens at used record shop somewhere near Hyde Park. Since then, any purchases have been restricted to vinyl and hi-res FLAC files.

Think about it: When was the last time you bought a CD? And with the pandemic, Canadian sales are down over 50% from where they were a year ago. But according to this article at Gear Patrol, we absolutely should keep buying compact discs.

“It’s 2020 and streaming makes up about 85 percent of how all music is consumed. Vinyl is in a resurgence, of course, with records outselling CDs for the first time in almost three decades. CDs, on the other hand, have been on the decline. Their sales have dropped by 95 percent since 2000 (the peak days of CDs), according to a new report, and are currently at their lowest level since 1986. To say CDs have lost their cool factor is a little bit of understatement.

“Yet, there’s still good reason to buy them!”

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Should we still be buying CDs? Yes.

  • July 5, 2020 at 9:54 am

    I’m still an avid CD collector for a variety of reasons mentioned in the article you linked to. Unfortunately for me I’m shopping for a new car and it’s pretty hard to find one with a CD player. It’s surprising how the auto industry has forced me to really think of whether to stop buying CDs or not.

  • July 6, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I still buy CDs. Most recently about 3 weeks ago, found a Pop Will Eat Itself reissue…gotta have those bonus tracks! I still like physical music, I still love sitting down and reading liner notes. Even though I use Spotify and satellite radio most of the time, the CDs are always present. Even in the car! I work in the auto industry, and finding vehicles with CD players is a huge challenge, and I think a big part of why CDs ales are dropping. But if you know where to look, they’re still available. Or if you know which box to check when ordering.

    • July 7, 2020 at 9:07 am

      The PWEI reissues are great too because the liner notes are written by Adam Mole.

      The Dos Dedos Mis Amigos reissue is AMAZING. I can’t believe we got the demos for the next album that never materialised.

  • July 6, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I still buy CDs fairly regularly. Cheap, versatile/portable (more-so than my vinyl), and when you own a physical copy of something more rare you’ll always have it and not be forced to rely on whether or not the record companies or masses deem it popular enough to save from extinction. I bought the Pop Will Eat Itself reissue of “Dos Dedos Mis Amigos” earlier this year for the included lost album and you can only get it on CD: The other aspect is collectability. Some things I have have only been released on CD and probably will only even be on that format, like my rare Buckethead stuff and certain soundtracks. Every now and then I check Amazon and Ebay to see how much my rare CDs are worth and some things I bought only five years ago are worth like $500 to the right collector now!


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