According to music folk at Side-Line, the audio CD is set to be abandoned by the end of 2012 by the major record labels. CDs as we know they will be replaced with digital downloads-only, leaving retailers like HMV out in the cold.
Side-Line goes on to say that the only audio CDs left in the shops will be special editions from major artists, similar to the way vinyl is still made and sold -- for the die-hard collectors.
I have to say, while I'm certain this is the way the music industry is going, I'm a tad skeptical that by the end of next year the CD will have been decommissioned for major music distribution. Sure, we've had the best digital distribution album sales yet this year, but there are an awful lot of music lovers who simply don't do iTunes, Amazon or 7digital. It would also basically kill off any other remaining high street music retailers. Maybe that's the future, but I'd be surprised to see it so soon as the end of 2012. [Side-Line via The Register]