Disc dives, so why the drives?

Disc dives, so why the drives?

cd(3)Compact discs aren’t selling like they used to – but manufacturers are still loading CD players into new models.

Nearly 15 years since Apple’s iPod pushed digital audio formats into most of our lives, the ongoing inclusion of CD slots in dashboards seems a little redundant.

But the days of CD players are certainly numbered – and with huge touchscreens becoming normal fare in modern cars there’s not much room left.

And manufacturers targeting youthful buyers are moving away from CDs as quickly as you can say Spotify.

The advent of smartphones and Bluetooth audio streaming capability – not to mention the countless subscription services on offer – means losing optical disc players isn’t that big a deal.

There’s still a market for CDs – albeit an ageing one – but considering the amount of space that it takes to carry around a half dozen discs when you can pull any song you can think of literally out of thin air means it’s not a deal-breaker for all but the most committed luddites.

Worldwide stats aren’t available, but in North America last year only 17% of cars sold didn’t have a CD player. This year it will jump to 24% and by 2021 it’ll be up to 46%, says research from IHS Automotive.

But it’s not over for the humble CD – despite the recording industry reporting a 15% drop in sales last year, it still shifted 141 million of them, according to Neilsen.

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