The CD Isn’t Dead, It’s In Purgatory

Interesting bit of news on the major label front over the past few days. The first is the declaration from EMI’s chief that the CD is dead. Indeed, the days of this physical format are numbered but a significant part of the market is still partonizing the physical format.

Two key reasons are (1) end-user ripped files are unencumbered (ie- not restricted by DRM) and (2) currently legitimate online stores lack the fidelity of their CD counterparts. Of course there are a myriad of other explanations (tangible discs are great for gifts, fans want to support their favorite musicians, or even simply as a backup to a files library); however, despite Alain Levy’s declaration, the music industry is focused on the CD business rather than fully embracing the file business they find themselves in. Unfortunately for customers, the file business is considered a nuisance (since most files are illicitly traded on unauthorized networks) or gravy (therefore protectionist for CD sales) so inferior files remain the de facto standard on authorized digital music stores.

Until the industry realizes that the business isn’t about the format (phonorecord, cassette, CD, or file) but about an incredible powerful yet intangible product we call music, we’ll remain in sales purgatory.


~ by Som on October 30, 2006.

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