The nostalgia for the little thrill of the needle falling on vinyl has turned into a nostalgia for the humble clink of the cassette tape and now it feels like the end of days is really near for CDs and DVDs – or is- this the case?

What is happening?

It’s not exactly a huge surprise amid the rise of streaming, but Tesco has confirmed it is phasing out DVDs and CDs from its stores, suggesting the end of days will certainly seem near for both formats. who have played such a major role in our lives for so long.

What did Tesco say?

That it was responding to weakening customer demand. The retail giant has pulled products from its stores in recent weeks, replacing them with higher-demand categories such as homewares. A Tesco spokesman said: “As more and more customers turn to digital entertainment, over the past month we have started to phase out certain products from our entertainment range, focusing instead on ranges where we are seeing the highest demand from customers such as homewares and outdoor products. ”

What is the situation in other stores?

Rival chain Sainsbury’s pulled CDs and DVDs from its stores last year, saying “its customers are increasingly going online for entertainment” and that they were phasing out the products to make more space for ” food and popular products like clothes and household items”.

The CD was king?

Interestingly enough, it was the inventor of the cassette, Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, who helped develop the CD for Philips in a joint effort with Sony in 1982. Billions of CDs have been sold since.

Sales have dropped?

In fact, CD sales have been falling for about 17 years, due to the introduction of digital downloads and then streaming services, but the decline has fallen from 27% per year between 2018 and 2020 to 12% last year. , with sales boosted by the CD. releases by Ed Sheeran, ABBA and Adele – suggesting a potential resurgence in popularity with fans attached to the format and physically “owning” the music. In all in the UK, more than 14 million CDs bought in 2021 so the market is still there.


About 300 million DVDs sold worldwide last year, compared to an average of 2 billion per year between 2005 and 2009.

To recover?

What comes out comes back and when it comes to vinyl and cassettes, their sales are exploding. Around 190,000 tapes were purchased last year in the UK, up 20% from 2020 and the highest amount since 2003.

As for the CD?

It celebrates its 40th anniversary later this year as October 1, 1982 marked the release of the first commercial compact disc, “52nd Street” by Billy Joel, in Japan. In 1985 the first CD single – Dire Straits “Brothers In Arms” – was released for promotional purposes in Germany.

And the DVD?

In 1997, Hollywood released “Twister” and “Mars Attacks!” like the first films on the format.