dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Kiss The CD Single Format Goodbye

We all know the CD single format died a somewhat quick death in the U.S. by the late '90s, once big labels began merging and, in their infinite wisdom, deduced that singles were the cause of declining album sales (gouging prices had nothing to do with it, mind you).

But starting with this Sunday's chart, downloaded singles from online stores such as iTunes will finally be able to qualify for the #1 position on the U.K. singles chart, whether a physical single is released the following week or not. Obviously, with downloads massively outselling CD singles, the Official U.K. Charts Company needed to alter their rules. Downloads were first included in the British chart in April 2005, provided a CD version was in stores by the following week.

With any end of an era, it does bring about a twinge of nostalgia and sadness; especially for music fans. Myself, I've run out of space on the cabinet we bought to store CDs three years ago, simply because I bought too many singles in the past to fit all my full-length discs in. However, I've always maintained that paid digital downloads have breathed new life into the single format.

Here's an interesting fact from this Reuters article on the change:

In October 2004, Swedish DJ Eric Prydz topped the charts after weekly sales of just over 23,000 copies, the lowest ever for a number one single. However overall singles sales have rocketed from 32 million in 2004 to more than 65 million last year, thanks mainly to almost 52 million download purchases.

Labels: ,


  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    It sort of sucks for American fans b/c the labels still have their heads up their asses regarding intl online sales. US citizens cannot buy from iTunes UK etc, so expect more illegal trading. Stupide.

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    PS Dluv, you look so f*ckable in that white dress.

  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous DJ, Spin That Orangutan! said…

    I'm actually pretty fine with CD singles going away. I was always a vinyl lover and I never really fully embraced the CD format so now all I want are either wonderfully bulky vinyl 12" singles or weightlessly convenient mp3s.

  • At 5:11 PM, Anonymous the f*ckable white dress said…


    What's going to happen after iTunes eventually goes out?

    The world's shifted from vinyl to cassette to CD to digital. Just like when we all had to put our cassettes into a shoebox and replace all our music via CD, what are we going to do when iTunes is phased out if the product replacing it isn't iPod-based?

    I'd D'Luv to hear your thoughts.

  • At 7:33 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    ITunes won't phase out for years, and when it does, it will be because something else has come along to stake its claim on the market -- just like iTunes did with compact discs.

    At least you won't have tons of product to store away then.

  • At 6:50 AM, Blogger Daft Monk said…

    I had heard that US companies made the decision to kill the single as far back as the early 90s as cds gained the majority of the market. I really had hoped that itunes and the digital revolution would have them take another look at singles, but it still seems that only a few acts get singles released even digitally in the US. It's not as if they are investing anything in them because they need only release the UK singles digital-only here and I would be happy. At least there is 7digital to give me my fix.

  • At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Josiah said…

Post a Comment

<< Home