• Retail Top 100 2012, No. 17: Digital products

Representatives from major music labels EMI, Universal, and Sony have, at the time of this writing, all declined to comment on claims from various music industry insiders that they all have timetables in place for phasing out their production of physical CDs by the end of 2012. While no one is stepping up with such bold predictions on when the last movie theater will shutter its doors, a steadily growing number of viewers are content to stream movies online, with Netflix alone reportedly accounting for 30 percent of all evening Internet traffic. Newer devices can handily stream movies on ever-larger and less expensive TV screens. The demand for deluxe edition CDs (and vinyl sets) loaded with extras is expected to remain for the foreseeable future, as are venues for projecting the occasional must-see, special-effects-laden blockbuster. The fate of any products capable of being delivered digitally seems clear. The handwriting has been on the wall ever since the first MP3 was posted to Napster back in mid-1999.

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