In news we all saw coming (probably five years ago, if not more), Mercury Records, the home to acts like The Killers, U2, and Arcade Fire, has announced that it will no longer be issuing CD and vinyl versions of its singles, instead relying almost solely on downloads for these offerings, reports NME.
The label, part of the Universal Music Group, would only be offering physical releases on singles if said releases are “guaranteed to make a profit.” According to data compiled by the Official Charts Company, those guarantees are getting fewer and fewer. In 2006, seven-inch single sales in the UK were near the million mark. However, just four years later, those numbers fell to 152,000, an 85% overall decrease. According to the Daily Mail, one recent sales week saw vinyl and CD sales make up just 0.16% of total sales.
The decision also comes at a time when overall singles sales are actually up, with over 161.8 million sold in 2010. However, those numbers also include digital downloads, further highlighting the rampant growth in the digital market.
Think about that the next time you click “download.”