The music industry needs to forget CDs and get 100% behind digital delivery, says Gartner.
Warning that music retailers need to move away from relying on pre-recorded CDs by next Christmas, the company suggests that a burn on-demand model might work with uncertain demand.
CD sales are now "dropping rapidly" in markets worldwide and will "never again regain market share" states Gartner.
Mark McGuire, research vice president at Gartner, said that by "propping up" the CD business, and not fully investing in downloads, the industry's indecision was hurting it.
McGuire said: "Music labels should instead emphasise 'digital first', making all new releases and catalogue issues via digital services and moving CD to an on-demand publishing mode".