Saturday, June 14, 2008

The single is dead, long live the single

Much has been made of the fact that chain-store Woolworth recently announced that, from August 2008, it would no longer stock CD singles. The reason given was, unsurprisingly, that the rise of downloading meant that the format was in terminal decline. In a sense that is not too surprising but then again perhaps it is.

If you really wanted a single on a physical format would you look for it in Woolworths? Would you even buy it on CD, assuming that there was an alternative?
The single, as a physical format, is now a niche market and that is hard to deny but, I suspect, not one that is going to disappear any time soon. The core market for CD singles, once fuelled by young teens who made the majority of Woolworth's sales of singles, may be vanishing fast but that doesn't mean the whole format is doomed per se.
If that were true radio, cinema and, on the music front, vinyl should all have long since vanished. That none of them have done so is ample testament to the resilience of certain technologies. Not much beats a 7" single when it comes to new music and of course you can listen to it, just like any other format, but its nature is the real appeal.

This is my newest acquisition and the first from a band, The Clik Clik, that I mentioned as likely to make waves in 2008.

The Clik Clik - Did You Wrong. Only available on 7" lemon-lime vinyl.

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