Back in July, we launched 'The Great CD Singles Debate' here on auspOp to find out whether you still buy physical CD singles. There was quite a bit of discussion on the topic, with many believing that CD singles COULD survive, depending on how clever the record companies were in compiling the tracklistings. Some people wanted the video clip on every CD single, some wanted remixes and b-sides (like in the 'good old days') and some merely wanted more than just two tracks.
Recently, Pink got SonyBMG a No.1 Aussie single with 'So What' only after the rush-release of a physical CD single. We reckon that the only thing that's held Katy Perry off the number one position with her second Aussie single 'Hot 'N' Cold' is a physical release. And imagine our horror when this week's Universal Music forthcoming release schedule was unveiled with not ONE CD single on it (eek!). We've been told (much to our relief) that the format hasn't permanently disappeared from Universal's schedule.
But increasingly these days, it's the retailers themselves who seem all-too-keen to take the CD singles off their shelves - and who can really blame them when they make so little money on them. With a sell-in price of around $3.60, retailers have sold CD singles at anywhere between $3 (Dick Smith Powerhouse) through $3.99 (JB Hifi) to $4.44 (Big W/Kmart) and $4.99/$5.99 (Sanity/Virgin Megastore). That means that retailers stand to make anywhere between a loss of 60c to a profit of $2.39. Not much.
So we reckon it's going to come to one word : availability. If something's not available at a particular store, consumers will simply go somewhere else. In a lot of respects, it's why retailer JB Hifi has done so well right across the country - by stocking the product (and lots of it) and by employing people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the product they sell. So if your store's not going to stock the format, go somewhere that will.