CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012Posted on 23/10/11
You read it well. The major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services. The only CD-formats that will be left over will be the limited edition ones, which will of course not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide anyhow.
3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment.
The news doesn't come as a surprise to those who have been working in the business. In a piece that was published in a q&a with the Alfa Matrix people back in June 2011 in the 1st issue of "Matrix Revelations", our chief editor Bernard Van Isacker said the following when asked if a CD would still exist in 5 years: "Yes, but in a different format. Normal CDs will no longer be available because they don't offer enough value, limited editions on the other hand will remain available and in demand for quite a few more years. I for one buy only limited editions because of the added value they offer: a nice design, extra bonus gadgets, etc. The album as we know it now however will be dead within 5 years, if it isn't even sooner. I predict that downloads will have replaced the CD album within the next 2 years. I don't see that as something negative, it just has run its course, let's leave the space to limited editions (including vinyl runs for bigger acts) and downloads instead."
It's a move that makes completely sense. CD's cost money, even when they don't sell because there is stock storage to be paid; a label also pays money to distributors when CDs get returned to the labels when not sold and so on. In short, abandoning the CD-format will make it possible to just focus on the release and the marketing of it and no longer focus on the distribution (since aggregators will do the work as far as dispatching the releases to services worldwide) and - expensive - stock maintenance. In the long run it will most surely mean the end for many music shops worldwide that only stock and sell CD releases. In the UK for instance HMV has problems paying the labels already and more will follow. It makes the distribution of CDs no longer worth it.
Also Amazon will benefit from this as it will surely become the one and only player when it comes to distribution of the remaining CD productions from labels. Packaged next to regular album downloads via its own Amazon MP3 service it will offer a complimentary service.
The next monument to fall? That will be printed magazines as people will want to consume their information online where they also read most of the news.
What are your feelings? is it a move that you like or not?
Update: We were approached by several people working with major labels, who indeed re-confirm that plans do exist to give up the CD. We keep on trying to get an official confirmation, but it seems that the matter is very controversial, especially after Side-Line brought out the story.
Posted by B. Van Isacker
More related news :
#366: A life lived announce 2 remix albums
#366: A Life Lived release 'Demo 2013' demo
#366: A Life Lived release EP in October, new video 'Exit Saved' out now
#366: A Live Lived plan 2nd album for Janyary 2014
'A Synthesizer for Christmas' animated Hyperbubble video
'Electro Tribute To Oasis' released on Eternal Sunday Records
'Face The Beat Vol. 1' available now... for free !
'Gangnam Style' parody 'Whitby Gothic Style' goes over 230.000 views on YouTube
'Human Centipede' sequel barred from UK distribution for being 'too obscene'
'I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition' to hit stores on DVD and Blu-ray in early December
Eurorock announces extra names: Kant Kino, Lescure 13, Alien Vampires, ... + last days to get your tickets at early bird prices!
The Belgian industrial/electro/doommetal festival Eurorock has announced more names for their May 14/15/16 2015 festival edition. (...)
Alfa Matrix has released the newest Junksista album 'High voltage confessions' - available as well in an exclusive mega limited 3CD version. (...)
Out today is 'Art Plastique', the 5th album of Celluloide. 'Art Plastique' is the band's first album fully written in French. (...)
Avarice In Audio launch debut 'Shine & Burn' on Alfa Matrix - out now! (...)
Out by early January is a brand new cover album by Leaether Strip: 'Aeppreciation'. (...)
Death In June has announced a 25th anniversary reissue of 2 albums: 'The Corn Years' and 'The Wall of Sacrifice', each as 2LP vinyls. (...)
Norwegian comedians Ylvis turn radio joke into interstellar sex education Kraftwerk homage aka dicks in space
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER