A top recording industry executive on Friday said the music CD is dead and that recording labels must become more innovative if they hope to sell the discs in the future.

"The CD as it is right now is dead," Alain Levy, chairman and CEO of EMI Music said in his keynote address at the London Media Summit.

Levy acknowledged that the control over content that the industry once wielded by virtue of controlling the means of distribution is rapidly slipping from its grasp.

"Power is shifting everywhere from manufacturers, content providers and retailers to consumers. In this age of empowerment, the consumer is king," he said.

He noted that 60 per cent of people rip their music CDs on their computers to transfer the songs to digital music players such as Apple Computer's market-leading iPod.

Recording companies must make CDs more appealing to people by adding value that compels individuals to buy physical media, Levy said at the conference being held at the London Business School.

"We have to be much more innovative in the way we sell physical content," he urged the industry, adding that EMI is practicing what he was preaching. "By the beginning of next year, none of our content will come without any additional material."

EMI Music is a division of EMI Group PLC.