Bad news for anyone desperate to show off their refined musical taste and impress that cute barista: Ubiquitous coffee retailer Starbucks has announced that it will no longer be carrying physical CDs in its retail stores. (For our younger readers, CDs were a kind of archaic storage medium that usually contained music or free hours of America Online.) According to an article in Billboard, the company is discontinuing the practice starting in March, presumably due to the ongoing rise of digital music.
The Seattle-based company has a long relationship with the musical industry; several artists, including Paul McCartney and Alanis Morissette, have released albums exclusively through the company’s stores. According to a 2006 Billboard article, Starbucks used to sell as many as 3.5 million CDs a year, usually to people cursing frantically as they remembered it was their dumb co-worker’s birthday today.
But never fear, light jazz enthusiasts. A representative for the company told Billboard that Starbucks wasn’t abandoning the concept of pleasant sounds played in an organized rhythm completely:
“Music will remain a key component of our coffeehouse and retail experience; however, we will continue to evolve the format of our music offerings to ensure we’re offering relevant options for our customers. As a leader in music curation, we will continue to strive to select unique and compelling artists from a broad range of genres we think will resonate with our customers.”
So that’s nice, especially since it confirms that Starbucks still views itself as “the cool guy” you met freshman year who knew exactly which Dave Matthews Band deep cuts were needed to pull a mix CD together. As per the statement, the coffee retailer will continue to offer codes for digital downloads in its stores, along with the beverages of choice for people with little time and fewer taste buds.