Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The CD is dying....

I guess we all know this already - it has been over a year since I purchased an actual "physical" CD and the only reason I bought that one was because the music (the soundtrack to the Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil) was only available in that format at the time.

In 1982 Billy Joel's 52nd Street was the first album released on CD and offered to the public. I bought my first CD player that year - a Yamaha that cost me $1200.00. These days I shop online and through iTunes for immediate downloads and I seldom buy an entire album, but only those songs I want. So, CDs are not the only casualty of this digital age for music - albums, too, are fading fast. And, with no demand for CDs, CD player manufacturers will soon be laying off employees, as well. Can DVDs and DVD manufacturers be far behind? Netflix already streams almost anything I want to see - cheaply and when I want it.

Sony once operated three CD-producing facilities in the United States but will soon be down to one. Pitman, New Jersey, which has 9,365 residents and is about 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, is home to one of Sony's two remaining U.S.-based CD-manufacturing plants--until March 31. After that, the company will shutter the facility and 300 workers will be out of jobs. A Sony spokeswoman recently cited an ailing U.S. economy and sagging interest in physical media as the reasons for the closure. Piracy is also partly responsible for the decline in legitimate CD sales, but I am convinced it is primarily the result of a fundamental shift in the way consumers acquire music - and video, and clothing, and almost any thing else you can imagine. The internet has changed everything and it is just getting started.

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