I have been asked to serve on a panel at the Music Librarians' Association's Annual Meeting later this month, here in Chicago. The title of the session is:
What’s Next? The Compact Disc as a Viable Format in the Future of Music Recording
In my remarks, I have been asked to address the following three questions:
1. What is the likelihood of CDs ceasing to be a viable format for delivery of recorded music to consumers?
2. If CDs do cease to be viable, what will take their place?
3. How will your professional practices change in response to developments in how music is delivered to consumers?
Obviously, I will need to answer the third question from my unique take as President of Cedille Records. But I have no exclusive insights on the first two questions. I would be very interested to learn what music consumers think about these.
Clearly market share of downloads is going up while CD sales are going down. But is there a limit to this trend? Will CDs be around forever? If so, what percent of the music market will they ultimately command? If not, will it be because electronic delivery completely supplants the need for CDs, or could another mass market physical product for music delivery replace the compact disc?
Are there other questions I should seek to answer in relation to the ones presented above?
Please give me your thoughts on these questions or any other ideas that seem relevant to the topic at hand.