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Major UK Retail Chain Phases Out CD Singles, RIAA Drops Suit


Liverpool (UK) - Woolworths, a major retailer in the UK, has decided to stop selling CD singles, shifting its focus to digital music sales through its own online store.

For Woolworths, the digital music sales business is convincing enough to drop CD single sales. In an announcement made yesterday, the high street retailer said that the CD singles market is in what appears to be an unstoppable downward spiral.

"CDs are alive and well for album sales, but unfortunately the physical singles market is in terminal decline. Our customers are now starting to embrace the world of download, which is why we feel the time is right to launch our new digital site," the retailer’s commercial director Jim Batchelor said.

Woolworths claims to be offering 1.2 million songs in WMA and MP3 format and over a thousand films and TV shows through its own download store. The songs are priced at 99 cents per piece, which translates to about $1.96 at the current exchange rate.

In unrelated news, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said that it has dropped all legal action against the Russian music download site, since the service has gone out of business. Bowing to the pressure of the RIAA, the Russian government has shut down the site after U.S. officials said the site was a barrier for Russia to join the World Trade Organization. Shortly thereafter, a new site called MP3Sparks emerged and began offering former users to buy tracks using their existing login credentials. The RIAA expects Russia to take that site down as well.