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Can the CD Survive?

Is the CD dying fast, holding strong or due for a comeback?

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The rise of the Internet has inspired premature proclamations of the death of newspapers, TV, radio … and, of course, the CD. Recently, streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube have reduced the CD to near-insignificance in mainstream music. “In 2000, CD’s best year, 943 million units were shipped. By 2016, that dropped to 99 million,” said Ted Green, a tech industry consultant and the editor of the tech marketing website Strata-gee.com.

But in jazz, where the audience is more accustomed to physical media, the story is different. According to Denny Stilwell, president of Mack Avenue Records, “CD is still a big part of our revenue. In 2017, our CD sales increased by a double-digit percentage, and CD also rose in percentage of market share.”

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