How long do you expect record labels to continue releasing CDs?

Stereophile's picture
Clearly, plenty of readers are still committed to CD for one reason or another. How long do you expect record labels to continue releasing CDs?
How long do you expect record labels to continue releasing CDs?
For another 20 years at least
33% (125 votes)
10–15 years
21% (79 votes)
5–10 years
27% (105 votes)
3–5 years
14% (53 votes)
A couple of years
4% (16 votes)
Up to a year
1% (2 votes)
It ends this year
1% (4 votes)
Total votes: 384
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Comments
audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

How about a little stability for an industry that's customer driven, not lawyer, profit, or ego.

Jimmy's picture

Sooner, if a new delivery method is used (eg, memory chips).

DG's picture

Aren't you trying to bury something that is not dead yet?

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Unfortunately, the "perfect sound forever" misnomer isn't going away anytime soon.....

Nick's picture

I think specialty labels will always release CDs. There is a market out there for people who want to have the physical product in their hands. The trouble in classical and jazz is that the best performers are no longer with us hence there is no great demand for new releases. I, for one, rarely buy new CDs and opt for second hand releases from the '80s and '90s from old re-issues.

Tim K's picture

Physical distribution of some sort will continue for as long as I can see, but I think that will cease to be the CD pretty soon.

Steve NM's picture

At least another 20 years. There isn't another physical medium to take its place. Likely never will be. I think there will always be a demand for music on a physical medium, regardless of how popular downloading gets. You need to hear the SHM & BluSpec discs out of Japan to hear just how good CD can sound!

Louis P.'s picture

There are several reasons that CDs won't go away any time soon. With downloads, only one or two singles from the album can be purchased, so the music industry has a vested interest in selling the entire album. From the customers' side, the CD comes with the album artwork, lyrics, etc. No need to download and possibly print more stuff. Also, CDs can contain bonus material, and can also be auotgraphed. The day before the Green Day's 21'st Century Breakdown was released, there were already a dozen people on line at the Best Buy's Manhattan 5th Avenue store for the 500 autographed discs. And for audiophiles, it jsut takes too long to download every purchase in lossless format.

Roland's picture

I put the 5–10 choice down, because digital media is constantly evolving, but I anticipate some form of physical digital media to be around for quite a while. I use a digital music server exclusively, but I still prefer to have my physical media around as a back-up, and also because it is somehow reassuring to have it. There is something about having the media that makes me strongly prefer it to downloading—even when some of the downloads are of much higher quality than the CDs would have been.

Nosmo King's picture

Anyone could be way off on this one. I thought records were going away in the '80s, yet they are still being produced today. As long as music that people want is available on CD, they will still sell. But if a new format comes along that is better, most people will jump ship.

Robin Landseadel's picture

. . . or something similar & equally permanent. The market for hard forms of software will continue to shrink but never entirely disappear. Kinda like LPs.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

CDs will last longer than vinyl since they are cheaper and easier to produce and also there are more users, I'll guess. And it is not a petroleum product—a resource that grows more expensive and rare as time moves on.

R.  Melton's picture

I'm assuming you mean major labels. I think there will be some low level of activity for quite a while but it will be niche type stuff.

Erik Vermeulen's picture

There is no way that music will be through downloads only.

Spinner's picture

R.I.P. 1984—2014 Too young to die, too old to survive, perfect sound forever in heaven.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

They'll keep releasing them until we stop buying them. Which I have no intention of doing

Steve's picture

They have to figure out this business with downloads and the Internet before they can afford to stop pressing CDs. But I gather this has been tough for them—their experience is with physical distribution of product.

Mark Desrosiers's picture

There is something satisfying about a physical disc, but I believe vinyl will make a comeback for the ever-shrinking physical music market.

Al Earz's picture

I think as long as they don't have another product they can put on a store shelf, we will have CDs.

MJS's picture

5–10 years. After that, they will be special order items like vinyl is now.

Al Marcy's picture

Do they really still sell CDs?

Paul M.'s picture

Sadly, these curves always accelerate.

doug in MO's picture

I think they'll keep releasing CDs as long as there is not a better alternative that comes along. And I don't really see that happening anytime soon. I do believe computer-based audio will continue to grow, but there will always be enough collectors out there to sustain the market for a physical sound carrier.

Jim M's picture

They will continue for some time, but there will be fewer major labels and more small indy ones.

Ben's picture

I'd keep my Denon player, but I need to be able to burn copies so that the originals don't become damaged.

JIm Tavegia's picture

I would expect that downloading will take over the CD and hi-rez markets and only SACD (?) and Blu-ray will be manufactured. Both formats are Sony and should die like everything else.

John P.'s picture

Yadda, yadda, LPs are dead, CDs are dead, the future is pure data streaming into a DAC module implanted in your brain, etc. The human neurological system seeks, processes, and records a full sensory representation of each psychological experience, ie, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (and olfactory). Physical audio playback product therefore will not become completely obsolete anytime soon.

Albert's picture

Audiophile labels will continue to sell CDs and vinyl records. Small audiophile labels will cherry-pick the best recordings for reissues. Major labels will stop by the end of this year. That means that there will be no more funding for the garbage that has ruined the music industry. There will always be benefactors for real music.

Lila's picture

Depends on when they start releasing most music on DVD-Audio or SACD. I can't find any of my music on them. Haven't found any SACD drives either for PC.

mook's picture

Assuming that you're counting all the labels, including the little ones—as for vinyl. The big labels? Yes, they'll die in a couple of years.

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