The CD will stay the most popular music format until at least the end of the decade when online music will begin to challenge its crown, says a new survey.
Compact discs were made commercially available in 1983
In 2009, music lovers in Europe will buy £570m worth of music in the form of digital downloads, said technology consultants Jupiter Research.
But they added that this level would account for only 8% of the market.
The report added that the UK will be the top online music market in Europe by the end of the decade.
It estimates the market will account for 30% of online music sales in 2009.
Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan said: "Although Europe's digital music market has finally begun to take off after a sluggish start, it will remain a relatively niche market."
"Digital music distribution will be an important alternative revenue channel for the music industry, but it is not about to replace the CD," he added.
Europe's online music market is dominated by Apple Computer's iTunes music store but the recent legal relaunch of Napster, plus dozens of others, have created a brutally competitive market in Europe.
They are battling for share of a digital music market, which is expected to grow four-fold this year to £31.4m.
Over the next five years, the biggest catalyst for growth will be the sale of digital music players such as Apple's iPod and Sony's new hard-disc Walkman, the report added.
The study does not take into account the successful market for mobile phone ring tones.