Today I listened to the HBR Ideacast about legacy thinking, where you create a plan to achieve your legacy and then execute. It was fairly dull and as I browsed Google Reader, I came across an interesting story — EMI Chairman Alain Levy said, “_The CD as it is right now is dead_”.

The shift towards purchasing digital music is growing as CD sales drop. Digital downloads accounted for 5.5% of all music sales in 2005 and 11% of all music sales in 2006, according to a recent report. If the adoption of music downloads continues to grow at this pace, download sales will equal CD sales in just 2-3 years.

As this shift occurs, the overall sales of music may continue to drop if there isn’t a push to innovate. For example:
* upselling other formats hasn’t really occurred. Like, when I buy a single mp3, why not offer me the ringtone for only 50 cents more?
* DRM has to be improved. If I buy a song, it should be DRM-free. However, if you rent a song, then I can understand using DRM.
* it seems like the record companies are trying to figure out how to allow kids to put a song in their You Tube video. In most cases I think using a song in a video helps to increase awareness and demand for the tune. But I obviously see the record company concerns. One aproach the record companies could consider is allowing creative uses and derivative works, like the CC licenses allow.

As for the future of compact discs, well, after my experience at Tower last weekend, I agree with Mr Levy from EMI.