In the past decade, global digital evolution has brought about a myriad of challenges to the CD industry locally and elsewhere. And as RAWLINGS OTINI writes, the ripple effect has gotten the local small player scratching their heads hard A couple of years back, one of the things one did to ease the day\u2019s fatigue and get into relaxation mode on arriving home was to fetch the Compact Discs (CDs) or Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) binder and start rummaging through for a good movie or the best music for repose. However, many people with such binders have not been updating them regularly while some have thrown them away except for a few special CDs of sentimental value. When visitors came visiting, they would spend time checking out what you liked watching or listening to by going through your collection on the CD rack. Things have, however, changed and one no longer has to hide some of the treasured movies or music from borrowers anymore as they are hidden on your behalf in servers outside the country by Google or Microsoft. Crazy. Isn\u2019t it? Movie shops that used to dot every corner of the street and estates are fading away with few patrons asking for the latest series. The CD sales market is shrinking and the suppliers and movie sellers (I call them peddlers) are feeling the effect in their pockets. The suppliers are blaming this on the proliferation of WiFi hotspots in urban areas and fixed broadband. \u201cOur sales have gone down and the demand is not as high as before. There is WiFi everywhere, so people don\u2019t need to burn CDs as they used to be,\u201d says Purity Mwangi of Ridata \u2014 an entity that imports and supplies CDs from China. She adds that high taxation by the government has also contributed to the slow down in the industry. Mwangi, however, insists broadband Internet is the main driver of the declining sales and wonders whether increased taxes on CDs were meant to send the industry on its knees. The phenomenon has since forced some former CD retailers and movie distributors to switch to other businesses such as wines and spirits. \u201cOur movie and CDs sales are down as low as 60 per cent. It\u2019s such a huge margin,\u201d says Titus Mugo, who owns three movie stores; two in Nairobi\u2019s CBD and one in Thika town. Some of Mugo\u2019s competitors have long closed shop due to the sharp fall in business. He admits that even though business has been poor for every industry in the last couple of years due to a fall in government spending, the CD business has taken a hit. Digital takeover Streaming and Video-on-Demand service providers such as Netflix, Kwese Iflix, Viusasa and YouTube are some of the main beneficiaries of the shift in the market since a majority of previous CD or DVD video consumers have embraced the digital revolution. When was the last time you saw someone on the street with a Discman or one on sale in an electronics shop? Some of you reading this may not even know what a Discman is. For your sake, it is a handheld CD player with headphones for speakers. It succeeded the cassette player called Walkman. The disappearance of CDs has also been due to better storage technology such as hard disks and phones with high storage space. According to data by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) growing subscriptions with office and home connections. The number of fixed broadband connections with speeds higher than two megabits per second (Mbps) is more than 500,000 with 43 million Kenyans able to access the Internet on their mobile phones. Big players Electronics giant Samsung has also announced its plans to stop producing CD players, starting by cutting supplies to advanced markets with high Internet subscriptions such as the United States. It says it will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models, which are the most advanced high definition CDs in the market with the capacity to carry a lot of data than ordinary DVDs. A report released recently by consulting firm Nielsen said that some devices, such as DVD players, were on the declining phase of their product life cycle as streaming devices continue gaining prominence. The slump in DVD sales has also hit purchases of DVD players in various stores in Nairobi with users opting to use other means to store and play their music videos through other more reliable means than CDs, which are liable to scratches and breakages. Netflix\u2019s entry into the foray has had a noticeable effect on consumer behaviour, even in countries where they already had access to other streaming video services. Movies and TV shows are not only the biggest attractions for its subscribers; they are also the backbone of the home entertainment industry, generating 80 to 90 per cent of the business in many countries.