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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 20, Number 1 (2020)

Young Adults’ Compact Disc Usage Experiences in 2020

Waleed Rashidi
California State University, Fullerton


While compact disc sales have been decreasing for the past several years, the format is not without its adherents. Millions of new units are still sold each year and although streaming services are heavily utilized by young adults—many of whom were raised on file-based music formats—a portion of this demographic still purchases and plays CDs. This study offers a view of 52 young adults’ (ages 18 to 26) recent new CD purchase and usage experiences via a survey featuring qualitative and quantitative responses. Results indicated that young adults purchase and use CDs for myriad reasons, including to support favorite artists, as additions to collections, for playback in vehicles, and because the CD was bundled with artists’ merchandise or tickets. Using Innovation Diffusion Theory as a lens, this segment of users are not technological laggards in adopting newer playback technology, but rather complement their streamed music service usage with CDs. Some of these young adults remain interested in collecting physical music, are sometimes feeling nostalgic, and are using CDs for practical reasons.

Keywords: physical music media, compact disc, CDs, digital music, recorded music, music industry

Rashidi, Waleed. “Young Adults’ Compact Disc Usage Experiences in 2020.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 20, no. 1 (2020): 127-145. https://doi.org/10.25101/20.4

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