A new study from Gartner (a leading research company) thinks that the sooner the music industry kills the CD, the sooner it can turn the corner on sliding revenues.
This might sound good on the surface, but the fact of the matter is that CD sales still generate about 75% of the industry's revenue. And while digital sales might seem to be on the rise, the fact of the matter is that they've actually flattened this year. Plus the fact that most consumers buy a single song at a time for a bit more or less than $.99 as opposed to the $10 - 20 per CD, and you can see the discrepancy in the thinking.
One of the points of the study that actually makes some sense is the suggestion to press CDs "on-demand" at the time a consumer wants to purchase. The technology for this currently exists and could be implemented if the RIAA decided to do something useful rather than suing its customers (although that's been curtailed in recent weeks).
An in-demand CD kiosk could actually be a boon to industry sales. Imagine having such a kiosk in your local 7-11, for instance. You'd be able to press any CD that was in the catalog and have it available in a few minutes. Sure beats searching for an old fashioned record store, which are fewer by the day.
That being said, Kunaki is a great on-demand CD creator for the average band or artist (without the kiosk - they're just on-line). Each CD can have up to 4 color graphics, comes shrink wrapped in a jewel case, and looks like a million dollars (if your graphics are great) for $1.75 each, regardless of the amount ordered (that means it's the same cost per disc from 1 to 100,000). They'll even drop ship for you. For a band or artist who doesn't want to press 1000 at a time, it's a great alternative.