I’m going to start off this article by saying thank you… Thank you to Kanye West for kicking off the beginning of the end of CDs as we know it. Yes, the self-proclaimed rap genius opened the year with the announcement on his infamous Twitter account that he will now no longer be creating CDs. In addition to this, his music will not be available on iTunes from this album onwards, but shall be on the platform ‘TIDAL’. I mean, whatever that is? It seems no one is yet one hundred per cent sure, seeing as no one uses it. But still, it begs the question: what is happening to how we listen to music?
Of course, there has always been the wait on when will we move on from CDs and it has been brewing for some time. As streaming giants such as Spotify and Apple Music have begun to take over the industry and with SoundCloud becoming the main place to source new artists, it is becoming more and more unusual to buy a CD.
Naturally, this isn’t the case for everyone. My dad for example was particularly heartbroken when he heard Apple were no longer putting a CD slot into their Macs… “What the bloody hell am I supposed to do with these hundreds of CDs I have? I’m not buying them all over again!”
It is clear that we cannot simply let go.
Will the same thing that happened to vinyl happen to them? Where you pay at least £200 for a player and continue to only have about five records, because the ones you like are about £50 each and the others you bought in that edgy market in London or Bristol are really old. On top of that, you don’t quite get The Who’s vibe, so ultimately their primary use is for Instagram videos.
Obviously this is only applies to a small number of the population, but honestly the world may deteriorate if it becomes cool to buy a CD from Urban Outfitters...
Of course Kanye has, in his own special way, told everyone to simple get over this by saying “shut the fuck up and enjoy the greatness.” … Charming eh!
Clearly it’s easy for him to get over this, as whatever loss he will have from lack of CDs he will gain from his £200+ trainers.
This may seem like this whole article is having a dig at Kanye, it isn’t. Lets all be honest here, he is producing some of the best music out there right now and the greatness is appreciated; but the fact he is letting go of what has got him here and forming the end of the solid music industry is definitely inexcusable.
Although it’s logical for streaming to be the main source of how fans consume music, it is now where most artists put their focus into selling. You can’t deny it feels like a slight smack in the face for all the loyal fans who can’t afford to sign up to a new streaming website or those who have been collecting these CDs for years, wanting nothing more than to bop along to their fave’s new single.
Music progresses and changes, surely it should leave space for other members of society to be allowed to catch up with it? Not to mention the fact that it is now far more common to no longer listen to an album the whole way through, but instead pick out only two or three songs and then move on.
As an audience these new changes to how we listen and consume is making us lazy and impatient and perhaps is no longer allowing us to ‘shut the fuck up and enjoy the greatness’ as Kanye wants us to.