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A CD single (sometimes abbreviated to CDS) is a music single in the form of a standard size compact disc, not to be confused with the 3-inch CD single, which uses a smaller form factor. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s, but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. With the rise in song downloads in the 2000s, sales of CD singles have decreased.

Commercially released CD singles can vary in length from two songs (an A side and B side, in the tradition of 7" 45rpm records) up to six songs like an EP. Some contain multiple mixes of one or more songs, in the tradition of 12" vinyl singles. Depending on the nation, there may be limits on the number of songs and total length for sales to count in singles charts.

History

Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" (1985) is reported to be the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in '85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in '86. Containing just four tracks, it had a very limited print run. Pink Floyd's Learning to Fly (1987) single was the first single to be released with the CD as its only medium - not being released on vinyl or cassette. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987.

The 8cm/3in CD single format was originally created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success, particularly in the U.S. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan, and have recently become more common in Europe, marketed as "Pock it" CDs.

It was common in the 1990s for U.S. record companies to release both a 2-track CD and a multi-track (usually "remix") maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would also release two CDs, but usually these consisted of three tracks or more each.

During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common, and often released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums. Due to pressure from record labels, singles charts in some countries became song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single ever being released. In the USA, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which very few songs were released in the CD single format in the US, while they remained relatively popular in the UK and other countries, where charts are still based solely on single sales and not radio airplay. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has largely been replaced as a distribution format in most countries, and most charts now include digital download counts as well as physical single sales.

In the UK, Woolworths Group, who previously accounted for one third of all CD sales in the country, stopped selling CD Singles in August 2008, citing the "terminal decline" of the format as customers moved to digital downloads as their preferred method of purchasing single tracks[1].

In Australia, the Herald Sun has reported the CD single is "set to become extinct". In July 2009, music store JB Hi-Fi ceased stocking CD singles because of declining sales, with copies of the week's No. 1 single often only selling as few as 350 copies across all their stores nationwide.[2] The ARIA Singles Charts are now "predominantly compiled from legal downloads". "On a Mission" by Gabriella Cilmi will be the last CD single to be stocked in Kmart, Target and Big W, therefore no longer stocking new singles. Sanity continues to sell CD singles in their stores.

In China, singles are seldom released physically, and most are digital downloads or radio-only singles. This is due to the amount of pirating and illegal file sharing over the internet.

In Greece and Cyprus, the term "CD single" is used to describe an extended play (EP) in which there may be anywhere from three to six different tracks. These releases charted on the Greek Singles Chart (before it ceased tracking altogether) alongside songs released as singles.

See also

References



A CD single (sometimes abbreviated to CDS) is a music single in the form of a standard size compact disc, not to be confused with the 3-inch CD single, which uses a smaller form factor. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s, but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. With the rise in song downloads in the 2000s, sales of CD singles have decreased.

Commercially released CD singles can vary in length from two songs (an A side and B side, in the tradition of 7" 45rpm records) up to six songs like an EP. Some contain multiple mixes of one or more songs, in the tradition of 12" vinyl singles. Depending on the nation, there may be limits on the number of songs and total length for sales to count in singles charts.

History

Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" (1985) is reported to be the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in '85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in '86. Containing just four tracks, it had a very limited print run. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987.

The 8 cm (3 in) CD single format was originally created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success, particularly in the U.S. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan, and have recently become more common in Europe, marketed as "Pock it" CDs.

It was common in the 1990s for U.S. record companies to release both a two-track CD and a multi-track (usually "remix") maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would also release two CDs, but usually these consisted of three tracks or more each.

During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common, and often released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums. Due to pressure from record labels, singles charts in some countries became song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single ever being released. In the USA, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which very few songs were released in the CD single format in the US, while they remained relatively popular in the UK and other countries, where charts are still based solely on single sales and not radio airplay. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has largely been replaced as a distribution format in most countries, and most charts now include digital download counts as well as physical single sales.

In the UK, Woolworths Group, who previously accounted for one third of all CD sales in the country, stopped selling CD singles in August 2008, citing the "terminal decline" of the format as customers moved to digital downloads as their preferred method of purchasing single tracks.[1]

In Australia, the Herald Sun has reported the CD single is "set to become extinct". In July 2009, music store JB Hi-Fi ceased stocking CD singles because of declining sales, with copies of the week's No. 1 single often only selling as few as 350 copies across all their stores nationwide.[2] The ARIA Singles Charts are now "predominantly compiled from legal downloads". "On a Mission" by Gabriella Cilmi will be the last CD single to be stocked in Kmart, Target and Big W, therefore no longer stocking new singles. Sanity continues to sell CD singles in their stores.

In China, singles are seldom released physically, and most are digital downloads or radio-only singles. This is due to the amount of pirating and illegal file sharing over the internet.[citation needed]

In Greece and Cyprus, the term "CD single" is used to describe an extended play (EP) in which there may be anywhere from three to six different tracks. These releases charted on the Greek Singles Chart (before it ceased tracking altogether) alongside songs released as singles.

See also

References



A CD single (sometimes abbreviated to CDS) is a music single in the form of a standard size compact disc, not to be confused with the 3-inch CD single, which uses a smaller form factor. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s, but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" (1985) is reported to be the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in '85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in '86. Containing just four tracks, it had a very limited print run. Pink Floyd's One Slip (1988) single was the first single to be released with the CD as its only medium - not being released on vinyl or cassette. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987.

The 8cm/3in CD single format was originally created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success, particularly in the U.S. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan, and have recently become more common in Europe, marketed as "Pock it" CDs.

It was common in the 1990s for U.S. record companies to release both a 2-track CD and a multi-track (usually "remix") maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would also release two CDs, but usually these consisted of three tracks or more each. As chart rules changed in 1998, this formatting was changed to the U.S. practice of releasing both a 2-track version and a maxi CD.

During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common, and often released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums. Due to pressure from record labels, singles charts in some countries became song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single ever being released. In the USA, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which very few songs were released in the CD single format in the US, while they remained relatively popular in the UK and other countries, where charts are still based solely on single sales and not radio airplay. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has largely been replaced as a distribution format in most countries, and most charts now include digital download counts as well as physical single sales.

In Australia, sales of CD singles have been on the decline for several years, but with the amalgamation of many large record labels, Universal and Sony Music continue to release 1-2 physical CD singles a week. A number one single will generally sell between 1500-2000 copies in the chart period, compared to 14,000 digital copies.

In China, singles are hardly ever released physically, and most are digital downloads or radio-only singles. This is due to the amount of pirating and illegal file sharing over the internet.

See also








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