Sony Shutting Down Major CD Manufacturing Plant: Is The Disc Dead?

Well, it's probably nearing the end of an era. Of course, it's not totally unexpected, and analysts in the industry have seen this day coming for years. The CD is becoming a relic, and children born five to ten years from now will probably view the Compact Disc the same way that teenagers view the vinyl record today. The CD has had an incredible run. It has managed to last decades, and even in an increasingly digital world, the CD has remained a staple of the media and music industry. But that staple may be weakening.

Sony use to have three CD manufacturing plants in America. Now they have two. And soon, they'll have one. One also has to wonder how long it will be before Sony has none here. In Pitman, NJ, workers at Sony's CD manufacturing plant are bracing to deal with unemployment. CD sales are dropping tremendously, and there's just not enough demand to go around. The company is planning to soon shut down the facility, putting 300 workers out of work. According to a report at C|NET, a spokesperson for the company "cited an ailing U.S. economy and sagging interest in physical media as the reasons for the closure." In fact, an employee of the planet told the outlet that "the CD is dying."

One worker even confessed that his daughter is using fewer CDs, despite the fact that her actions are playing a tiny role in the loss of her dad's job. There's no question that iTunes and piracy have helped to kill off the CD. iTunes now sells more music than Walmart in America, and it's just far easier to download an MP3 than to go out and purchase a physical CD. Also, the piracy culture that started way back during the Napster era has flourished, and now people have an even more difficult time swallowing the purchase of a disc. It's not right, but even workers confess that it has played a role.

When will the CD die out completely? We think there's still five to ten years of life left; educational sectors still rely heavily on CDs, and many PC game titles still ship on them. Broadband Internet isn't quite available "everywhere," so shipping things on CD is still effective in many sectors of the world. And beyond the CD, how long will the DVD last? With Vudu, Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand taking off, one has to wonder...
Tags:  Sony, closure