CD Replication & DVD Duplication Services UK  CD Duplication & DVD Duplication Services UK

CD Replication – The end of time?

Music CDs – becoming a thing of the past?

We all listen to music for pleasure or just background but the evolution of how continues. What does this mean for CD manufacturing companies? Let’s check the history first to see if there is a pattern that will continue.

In the early 1980’s, the CD launched offering consumers a cleaner and more durable format to carry music. Vinyl and cassette had been the only format available for many years but these were easily damaged and quite often “noisy” for the sound reproduction. With the evolution of digital reproduction, the CD offered a clean output on a format that was much more durable. After a while of uncertainty and fine tuning for the accepted quality of the digital audio, consumers quickly accepted this new format and indeed began to replace their favorite albums with re-mastered CD versions. This resulted in rapid decline for the demand of vinyl and has practically killed off the audio cassette. CD replication boomed and singles as well as albums were all released on the CD format, in many cases eventually only on CD.

Now we have digital downloads for music such as MP3 and the popularity has grown so vast, the demand for the CD has inevitably fallen – but does this mean such formats will replace the CD? When you look at the whole picture, it is plain to see the main cause for CD sale decline is the singles market. Many will download individual tracks rather than buy the traditional 3 track single (which more often than not consisted of the main track and 2 alternative mixes of the same). It was therefore not considered value for money hence the ability to pay for the track you want only has practically replaced the CD single. But what about albums? Well personally I do not think downloading an album proves value for money. With the CD you get not only a product in your hands that “feels” like you have something for your money but you get the sleeve notes and quite often bonus features such as video on the same disc. Downloads are simply files on a drive and do not provide that feel for value, in my opinion.

With the cost of CD manufacturing lower than ever before, many artists are able to self release their albums and sell them directly at festivals for example – such venues finds the public impulse buying as they like what they have just heard and want to take home a momento. Again a downloaded file does not provide this.

There has also been concern expressed as hardware manufacturers are not producing CD players anymore but there should be no connection with this and the demise of the CD. How many drives do we need in a residence? The DVD drive will play CDs and now blu-ray drives can play DVDs and CDs so as consumers replace the playback source, it does not mean they cannot still play their CD collection. Not like the need to replace the vinyls or cassettes!

In conclusion, there is still a good future in prospect for music CDs and possibly providing greater ability for more artists to make a living through music combining downloads and album sales at gigs. CD manufacturers have naturally reduced capacity to meet the reduced demand however it is my belief the balance between downloads and physical format will be met.