Starbucks will stop selling CDs starting in March, according to a new report from Billboard. The coffee chain’s foray into music began after acquiring Hear Music in 1999 and, over the next decade-and-a-half, compact discs were stocked in front of registers at most of their 21,000+ retail stores worldwide. With physical media sales on a steady decline, it seems likely that it is no longer profitable to keep the operation going. Billboard points out that Taylor Swift’s 1989, the soundtrack to Frozen, and a jazz compilation are some of the CDs that have been prominently displayed recently.
In addition to acting as a point of purchase for CDs, Starbucks also branched out into managing their own label. Hear Music has released albums of original material from Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Sia, Alanis Morissette James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Carly Simon, and the Cars. Their biggest-selling record ever was Ray Charles’ final album Genius Loves Company, which won eight Grammys including Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year. They also released a lot of compilation albums, including an annual holiday album. It’s unclear at this time what will happen to the label side of their operation.
Sources tell Billboard that digital music is expected to still be available in Starbucks stores, but they do not know what form it will take.
Starbucks has not yet officially confirmed the news.