We have witnessed an increasing popularity in downloading digitally, music and games and combined with illegal copying, perhaps the end is in sight for CD's? We know that there has been a continual year on year decline in the sales of DVD due to the birth of Blu-ray discs which have the capacity to store HD and 3D films as well as phenomenal game concepts with their now compulsory special effects and features making DVD less popular for movies and high quality games. DVD's will almost certainly be utilised solely for particular markets where low volumes are needed and DVD Duplication using recordable media will continue but on a markedly reduced scale.
This documentary shows interviews with individuals in relevant industries with a vested interest in these media products including Spillers Records in Cardiff, HMV and Music Wales, along with actual artists and members of the public and provides a most interesting insight into people's thoughts. Interestingly, their opinions are mixed some displaying a certain feeling of nostalgic loss if music CD's were no longer available. Others expressed the view that there was a feeling that by owning the CD and consequently the packaging in physical form there is an added value which included the playback quality being superior to the quality of the same music downloaded digitally from a web site. However, for others, there is a certain convenience with the ability to store a great deal of music on portable devices like IPods which therefore have a better value for them personally.
There could be a parallel here with vinyl records and clearly we are experiencing a not too dissimilar mini revolution when CD's were first produced and came onto the market almost totally wiping out the sales of vinyl. However we are now seeing the demand for vinyl increasing again and the experience of this re-emergence of this unique musical phenomenon will undoubtedly continue with production for many years. This development was mainly due to the purists who remained loyal to vinyl and its sound quality, they continued seeking out the vinyl and then extra demand was generated from a small but growing group of new enthusiasts and consequently various manufacturers began production of new decks to play the records on.
It is unquestionable that there has been a reduction in the sales and demand for compact discs but unlike DVD where there is an alternative physical media like Blu-ray, there is no clear physical alternative to the CD. This reduction in demand is simply as a result of piracy and digital downloads and Dischromatics believes that there is still life in the CD which will, similar to vinyl continue for a good number of years yet. The price of downloading music from the internet is of course less expensive than physical media and as some of the interviewees explained they enjoy and prefer to read about the artists in the booklets or inserts that come with the CD, they like having the lyrics available to them as well as having the actual feel of a CD in their hands. Paradoxically, the cost of many games that are available for download cost more than the actual physical product.
Naturally, Dischromatics sees the future and demand of the CD changing, where similar to DVD in the short term, orders will be for lower runs of Music CD. Equally there could be a larger number of these smaller volume orders. As it is uneconomical to produce fully manufactured product for less than a thousand, the only alternative would be CD Duplication use recordable media. They are seeing many groups and bands looking towards this recordable media as the ideal way of promoting their music and this will continue and increase. Smaller runs also give them the advantage of producing new albums more often and much more cheaply with added flexibility. Dischromatics is well placed to work with all these groups and bands as they have the ability to produce the whole package and help to promote through their creative arm Dischro Creative. Consequently we believe CD's will be with us for many years yet.