Starbucks ending CD sales in March

Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-25 10:48:37-05

Music fans who still enjoy holding a copy of their latest album purchase in their hands are losing one more spot to buy CDs.

Starbucks will stop selling CDs next month, according to a spokesperson from the company.

“[CDs] will still be available through the end of March,” said Maggie Jantzen on Friday. She told the Scripps National Desk that the decision was made to meet the “evolving needs” of the company’s customers.

“We’re continuing to evolve the format of our music offering to make sure we’re offering relevant options for our customers,” Jantzen said. When asked how the company reached its decision, she said it was not based on a customer survey.

The move is just the latest signal that these may be the final days of disc-based music. In 2014, CD sales dropped to an all-time low, slipping 14 percent from the previous year.

Starbucks has substantial power in terms of record sales.

Taylor Swift’s album “1989” — which was available at Starbucks stores — was the highest-selling album of the year. According to Billboard, Starbucks moved about 3,000 copies of the album in the first two days of its availability; that tally was just 2,000 copies below Best Buy’s sales total in the same timeframe.

Does abandoning CD sales — something they’ve offered since 1995 — mean Starbucks is trying to distance itself from the record industry? Not according to Jantzen.

“Music has been and will continue to be a key component of the coffeehouse experience,” she said, adding that the company’s iTunes ‘Pick of the Week’ offerings “will absolutely still continue.” That feature, giving customers a free song or app download every week, will endure through physical cards available inside stores and through the company’s iPhone app.

As for what’s next in terms of Starbucks musical offerings, Jantzen said, “We definitely have some other things in the works but don’t have details on those just yet.”

For more on the coffee company’s future plans regarding music, see the video report above.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.