July 24, 2013
Compact Disc Product Assessment
Between 2001 and 2007, compact discs were the primary mode for storing digital data. People, organizations and agencies used compact discs to store information and music. Music artists and video producers used compact disks as a medium for selling their work. Additionally, the number of compact discs sold carrying music and video content determined music and video sales (Peek, 2009). Compact discs revolutionized the storage and transportation of digital content. They also influenced the sale and consumption of digital content. The imminent obsolescence of compact disc bases its ideology on the disc’s slow materiality over its lifespan (Schouhamer, 2004). Compact discs were precious formats that combined imagery, textual annotation and music. The integrity of the discs has seen the disc become a portable and mobile cultural form for digital content. Compact discs face challenges because of their limited storage capacity, which has led to the loss of resonance. As a result, the disc became an intermediate technology that transferred music from old formats such as vinyl albums to modern storage devices such as hard discs.
The ultimate obsolescence of compact disc will stem from lack of innovativeness, weightiness and lack of increased storage capacities. It is essential to note that compact discs are circular flat discs that provide improved storage and content format compared to cassettes and vinyl. These improvements facilitated the massive migration of digital content from vinyl and cassettes to compact discs. In 2007, compact disc entered its 25th year in the market. Since then, compact discs have had to deal with a number of issues such as the changing dynamics of storage of digital content and customer preference for online streaming (Schouhamer, 2004). Compact discs have lower storage capacity than portable hard disc drives and flash discs. Additionally, compact discs have limited format and processing capabilities compared to flash discs and hard disc drives. Compact discs are read-only devices, while flash discs and hard drives have read and write capabilities. This means that once content has been stored in a compact disc it cannot be changed. This has led the disc to loss appeal to customers as they seek improved devices for storing their digital content.
The popularity of compact discs has declined over the years since 2008. The decline in popularity is because of a rise in other storage formats and the introduction of online music platforms such as iTunes. According to CNN (2010), “ as the music industry as a whole struggles in a down economy and direct business models like iTunes flourish, the compact disc, which was commercially introduced in 1982, has the appearance of going the way of vinyl” (Peek, 2009). The decline in appeal for compact discs was a highly anticipated event. It is essential to note that the music recording industry has experienced declining revenues from the sale of music content in compact discs. In the American market, the sale of compact discs has declined consistently since 2007. For instance, revenues from the sale of compact discs fell from $11.2 billion in 2003 to $2.5 billion in 2012. This represents a decline of 77.5 percent in sales. The most damaging fall in profits occurred between 2007 and 2008. During this period, the industry experienced declines in sales by 9.4 and 17.6 percent respectively (Schouhamer, 2004). As the sale of compact discs declined, online downloads and streaming increased.
Since 2009, the decline in sales and profits has been manageable. For instance, in 2011, the industry experienced sales declines of $569 million, which represented a decline of 18.3 percent. These trends show those compact discs are experiencing an inevitable decline in sales because of declined customer appeal. Online stores have replaced