Could CDs soon go the way of the cassette tape?

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)- Eight track tapes and audio cassettes are two once-popular music formats that faded away. And could compact discs, or CDs, be the next to get replaced.

A worker at Record Collector in Iowa City checks in a used CD sold for resale. A national music industry publication says retailer Best Buy could stop new CD sales this summer.

Reports that one national retailer plans to stop selling new CDs in stores this summer is raising that question.

A report by the music industry publication Billboard claims Best Buy has told music distributors the company plans to pull CDs from store shelves July 1st.

TV9 reached out to the Best Buy corporate office on Tuesday. A “no comment” was the only reply.

But what a national retailer possibly exiting the CD business might mean for other music retailers is open for debate.

At Half Price Books in Cedar Rapids, the used CD business still earns its keep. Assistant manager Alex Burns estimates resold used CDs still make up about eight to ten percent of sales.

He said the loss of a large retailer might eventually mean fewer used CDs for sale. But it could also drive more business to his store because customers would have fewer places to go.

“For me, I don’t think retailers will signal the end of physical CDs. I think probably when manufacturers decide to stop making them, kind of like 35 millimeter film. You can’t get it anymore so everyone uses digital,” he said.

Bobby Larson, owner of Record Collector in Iowa City, says some music formats disappear only to reappear with new enthusiasts. One example in the music business is the sale of vinyl L-P records.

He doesn’t think that will happen with CDs. What he expects is a gradual decline with eventually devoted fans as the main users and buyers.

“There will always be CD people, like there’s still people who collect eight tracks and cassettes. But it’ll be a much small number,” Larson said.

Larson says the days of the CD as the music format of choice is definitely gone and it’s not coming back.

The Billboard publication said CD sales in 2016 dropped by 18.5 percent.