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Compact Disc death foretold for 2012

Major record labels to kill format?

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The major record labels are planning to kill off the CD format by the end of next year to make way for digital downloads only.

That's the claim made by music site Side-Line which says it heard whispers that the end of the CD is nigh from music industry insiders.

That said, it has failed to get any official confirmation from the labels, though that's not perhaps surprising.

The notion is that, by the end of 2012, the majors will focus entirely on downloads. The only CDs that will go on sale through 2013 and beyond will be special editions and albums from the biggest artists.

If true - we're not entirely convinced; we can't see the majors acting in such harmony - the news could spell even bigger profits for digital content suppliers Amazon and iTunes, while ruining bricks'n'mortar stores like HMV, which already struggles due to the rise in digital-download popularity.

HMV, for one, has said its future lies in selling hardware and music merchadise as packaged media - CDs, books, DVDs and games - is slowly replaced by downloads.

Eventually the format will become extinct, though whether its demise will really happen next year is open to question. Such an immediate cut-off point seems unlikely. After all, CDs are still popular - just about. ®

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