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In Reply to: RE: Just received notice that Classics Online will discontinue 2/1/17 posted by PAR on January 22, 2017 at 07:45:03
We just had our audio club meeting and at the meeting was the owner of Direct Audio. They are a major seller of LPS and CDS particularly Mobile fidelity. He was at CES and heard this directly from Sony that 2018 would be the last year they would manufacture CDS. There was no formal announcement but since he is a dealer that is what he was told. He said that Mobile Fidelity confirmed that also.
I have spoken as promised with my contact in Sony Music and he says that as far as he is aware there has been no announcement internally about such a thing as Sony ceasing to manufacture CDs. He wonders if wires may have been crossed and that this is about Sony Electronics (another company).
As your source got the information from the Sony presence at CES this year that would tend to support the idea that this is not about CDs but CD players. Sony Music did not, as far as I can establish, appear at CES (which, I think, would not be a natural event for a record company to be at - I may be wrong). However Sony Electronics was there of course.
I think what this possibly boils down to is that 2018 may be the last year that Sony Electronics makes CD players. They have already more or less withdrawn from producing CD players for the audiophile area of their business but still make them for more mass market sound systems. So dropping CD altogether in 18 - 24 month's time seems a reasonable progression from their current position.
As my Sony Music contact said, CDs may be declining but they still represent a hefty portion of the company's sales. They wouldn't want to give that up.
So, of course, anything may happen in due course. This could, just as an example, include Sony Music per se stopping manufacturing CDs but continuing making them with a partner or as a joint venture (there's nothing to support this idea as having any reality either).
So there doesn't seem any evidence currently that Sony is going to stop manufacturing CDs (as in discs).
I have just sent a message to my contact within Sony Music to see if he knows anyhting about this. I'll let you know what his response is.
If it is true I suspect that it is literally true. That is that Sony is going to pull out of pressing CDs but not the CD market itself. Their discs will maufactured by outsourcing the process. I reckon that there will still be Sony CDs around for a while yet.
As the CD market declines then so does the need for manufacturing capacity across the industry so this could be a completely rational decision. Or it could be the result of that odd (to us) way the Japanese do business where long term plans can be adhered to seemingly irrespective of the actual market conditions. The cessation of CD manufacture in 2018 could have been decided on by them years ago.
Must agree with PAR
First, niche streaming sites (other than Pandora or Apple Music) seem to be dying at a prolific rate. ClassicsOnline is already dead. Another classical one was in admin (but quite good - hope it lasts).
Second, while CD sales may still be in decline, I think they still exceed download revenue, and the age of download sales has already peaked and has been going into serious decline, being wiped out by streaming. The new kiddies with their 5 second attention spans and everything they own crammed into a phone haven't got the space or time to store, sort or collect downloads. They want the streaming service to sort everything for them.
So, with downloads down the gurgler, and streaming not bringing in much revenue, it's looking pretty uncomfortable to be a music industry exec these days. I can't see them throwing out physical formats ... quite the opposite, they seem to be trying to bring back as many physical formats as they can: vinyl is back ... and even tape is making a comeback!
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