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Piccadilly Pulse: As Now That’s What I Call Music! turns 30 we ask… when was the last time you bought a CD?

By Scott Hunt

It has been 30 years since Now That’s What I Call Music! began their compilation albums of chart hits which have amassed a staggering 100million album sales worldwide.

The latest instalment, Now 86, went on sale last week becoming one of the fastest selling records of the year – selling 200,000 copies in the first week.

However with the emergence of digital downloads, more people are opting to buy their CD’s online rather than purchasing them from a store.

Which raises the question of just how important CDs are in this day and age and whether people still choose to buy a physical CD or instead access their music online.

MM took to the streets to find out:

 When was the last time you bought a CD?


OptionResult 
In the last month 16.1%
In the last year29.1%
More than one year ago 45.8%
Can’t remember when8.3%


Danny Ellis, 19, a student from Horwich, said: “I don’t buy CDs. It’s much easier and cheaper for me to get my music online.” 

Steph Briggs, 26, a wedding planner from Burnage, said: “I would never buy CDs for myself but as someone who has a teenage sister they are an easy choice of Christmas present every year. The last CD I bought was Take Me Home by One Direction. She was made up.”

Patrick Betts, 33, a PR Consultant from Chorlton, stressed the importance of CDs: “Of course, I buy CDs all the time. I think it’s a shame what is happening to the music industry. As someone who attends a lot of gigs I like to support my favourite bands as much as possible. I am particularly against illegal downloads.”

Joan Wright, 73, retired from Glasgow, said: “I still buy CDs because they are the easiest way for me to access music. It’s far simpler for me to go into a shop than to try to buy music online.”

Ashleigh Jones, 23, a student from Chorley, believes CDs are no longer relevant: “I buy all my music online. The trouble with CDs such as Now! is that you might only want a few of the songs, not the whole CD. So I just get those songs online.”

John Haworth, 56, an accountant from Levenshulme, said: “I don’t buy CDs or download music online. I’m just not that in to modern music so I don’t tend to bother.”

Antony Perkins, 21, a Masters student from Bolton, said CDs require too much effort: “The hassle of buying them and uploading them to my computer meant it just became much easier to download my music.”

Jackie Harvey, 49, a supermarket manager from Warrington, said: “I bought a CD yesterday. The Now CD in fact. I play them in my car mainly so they are still a big part of my music.”

Sarah Bradbury, 37, a driving instructor from Cheadle Hulme, said: “It’s important to me that CDs don’t die out. I do download music online as well but I still buy CDs from bands I like.”

Sharon Watkins, 47, a full-time Mum from Withington, said: “A couple of years ago I bought my youngest son a CD for his birthday. He told me that nobody buys CDs anymore. He said in future buy me an iTunes gift card.”

John Jak Shaw, 21, a student from Manchester, said: “I really can’t remember. I don’t see the point when programs like iTunes can do it instantly.”

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