Remember that old, portable CD player you use to have? Well, as it turns out, it’s not quite as obsolete as we may have thought. Telegraph.co.uk is reporting that now, four years after department store John Lewis stopped carrying portable CD players, it is stocking them again. Although MP3 players are definitely popular, and largely overtaking the portable music market, it turns out that some consumers simply prefer the ease of use and simplicity of Discmans, even if they are a tad bit bulkier.
The retail stats say it all: The UK’s largest electrical goods chain store, Currys, has said that sales of the devices have increased by 50% compared to last year. Furthermore, market research firm GfK says 45,000 portable CD players were sold in October.
In addition to the ease of use and simplicity, it’s quite possible that price has something to do with this resurgence, as well: The average price of the players has fallen more than £100 to less than £15. Another possible cause is the fact that over eight million people in the UK still do not have access to the Internet, making it a bit difficult to purchase digitized files.
Yvonne Ho, category manager of home audio at Currys, said: "There is definitely still a market for portable CD players particularly at this time of year as they make great stocking fillers for people of all ages and are primarily bought for their ease of use and by the people yet to digitize their music collections.”
Whether this trend will travel to our side of the pond is yet to be seen. As for the music companies who are still whining about digital sales and pirating, we’d point them to the success of Atlantic Records, who revealed last month that their digital music sales has overtaken its earnings from CD sales. Given this, we’d say the record companies have nothing to worry about, so long as they capitalize on both markets.