The New Stuff

Yes folks, the CD is safe for now

You can download a huge music library without ever leaving home, but reports of the compact disc’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, writes BRIAN BOYD . Read this article from the Irish Times.


IT WAS INEVITABLE. The report went like this. By the end of next year the major record labels are planning to have abandoned the CD and replaced it with downloads and streams through iTunes and similar music services. That’s because the CD is an anachronism from a pre-online era, according to the online music magazine Side-Line. CDs won’t disappear completely, the report continued, but the format will occupy as small a niche as vinyl does now. Its end not only makes economic sense, as downloads are cheaper than a physical product to provide, but is also in tune with how we consume music in these days of the smartphone and the tablet.
The story was widely blogged and tweeted, and almost everyone accepted that technological progress had lapped the physical CD and that we were going to live our cultural life happily ever after in the cloud.

There’s just one problem with the Side-Line story: it’s wrong. At first it looked solid: more and more people are opting for downloads, and CDs have the drawback, when they don’t sell as well as expected, of leaving retailers and record labels with return and storage costs. Downloads, on the other hand, incur no packaging, transport or storage costs and minimal distribution costs.

Music stores have been giving CDs less and less floor space in recent years, as video games are now the big sellers on the high street. More people are getting their music from iTunes and other digital services, and a whole generation of music consumers each own hundreds of albums but have never touched a CD.

After Side-Line published its story, people started to wonder about magazines, books and films. Surely, the argument ran, if it’s cheaper, easier and more convenient to acquire music, books and films online, we’re looking at the end not only of the CD but also of physical copies of books and films as well.

BUT WHAT IF THE END is not nigh for the CD? And what if that means our cultural future will not be entirely digital? Side-Line contacted three major labels – Universal, EMI and Sony – about its story, but all declined to comment. That probably fuelled a grassy-knoll theory that the majors had privately decided to kill off the CD next year but didn’t want the news to be reported too soon.

This week, at least, it was easy to find music-industry people who will talk about the future of the compact disc. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide, and CD sales are its lifeblood. “This story was first written back in October, and as far as I can see it hasn’t gained any credibility at all,” says Adrian Strain, the federation’s director of communications. “CDs still account for more than 60 per cent of industry revenues globally – more than 70 per cent in some markets, such as Germany – and there is still healthy consumer demand for the physical product. This is despite the rapid growth we have seen in the industry’s digital revenues.” Check the Nielsen Report for 2011 here.

Gennaro Castlado, a spokesman for HMV, says, “I don’t think we should write off the CD just yet, as there are still a huge number of people who like the idea of owning and collecting music in physical formats, especially when they can make their own digital copies to get the best of both worlds. There will be a viable market for CDs for quite a while to come.”

Read the whole story here—–>


Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.


Recently Published


9 Holiday Marketing Tips for Musicians

Tis the season to be jolly and think of ways to market your band ...


8 Packaging Design Resources (for your inspiration)

Regular CDs are nice but if you want to release something your ...


Vinyl Packaging: Where The World Ends / Indian Wells

Designer: Chiara Tomati Designer / Co-creative director: Vincenzo ...


CD Packaging of the Week: Chang and Lee

We love the look of this street, grunge, trashy pop CD packaging. ...


Reasons Why Millennials Love the Vinyl

[Written by Ben Schultz, is an award-winning journalist and music ...

david bowie ziggy stardust

Best of the Best: Our Top Advice Articles for Indie Musicians

Hi folks! What have you been up to? Aside from the usual busyness of ...



We’ve features some of the most creative vinyl records here on ...

vinyl box set: back to the future soundtrack

Back To The Future Trilogy Soundtrack Vinyl Box Set

A classic film such as the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY deserves ...

Kiss band marketing

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Band Name and Why You Should Copyright It

Who would have thought that finding the perfect band name could be a ...

Read previous post:
Funny Santa Album Covers

Tis the season to be jolly...and funny, apparently. Many artists make Holiday albums each year and maybe nothing spells Christmas...