Even though CD revenues have fallen sharply over the last ten years, most predictions about the format have been wrong. The CD’s decline, while painful to companies, has been far more gradual than precipitous. Over the last four years, CD revenues have leveled off just as an airplane would before a soft landing.
The one thing everybody has correctly predicted is that the CD would decline. CD revenues fell 77.5% to $2.5 billion in 2012 from $11.2 billion in 2003, according to RIAA numbers released last week. The deepest losses occurred in 2007 and 2008, when CD revenues dropped over $1.9 billion each year. Total revenues suffered badly as a result in those years, falling 9.4% and 17.6% in 2007 and 2008, respectively. More recent years have not been as bad. After four straight years of deficits that exceeded 20% (from 2007 to 2010) CD revenues declined 8.5% in 2011 and 18.3% in 2012.
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