CD-format to be abandoned by major labels by the end of 2012?
Yep, that’s right. There are major labels which plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012, maybe even sooner and replace it with download and stream only releases through iTunes and other related music services. Supposedly, the only CD-formats that will be left will be the limited editions, and not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon, which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide as it is.
EMI, Universal and Sony have all declined to comment on this possible change.
This news does not come as a surprise to those who have been working in the business.
CD’s cost money, even when they do not sell because there is stock storage to be paid; a label also pays money to distributors when CDs get returned to the labels when not sold and so on.
In short, abandoning the CD-format will make it possible to just focus on the release and the marketing of it and no longer focus on the distribution (since aggregators will do the work as far as dispatching the releases to services worldwide) and – expensive – stock maintenance. In the long run it will most surely mean the end for many music shops worldwide that only stock and sell CD releases.
Amazon will benefit from this as it will become the one and only place when it comes to distribution of the remaining CD productions from labels. Packaged next to regular album downloads through its own Amazon MP3 service it will offer a complimentary service.
How do you feel? Do you like this move or no?