Featured | July 2013 | DJ Special Edition
So is the CD dead, almost dead or still alive and kicking?
It has been talked about for a number of years now but for some reason it seems ‘we’ still love CDs. Even DJs have come to accept them but they are all but gone. First we had to witness the closure of independent record stores everywhere and more recently the major chains have followed suit. Most famously is the demise of HMV which dominated the headlines and if you have followed that story you will know that HMV’s survival or resurrection may still be on the cards but either way ‘they gonna be looking for more than just CDs to save them’ and certainly they will have to rethink and modify their business model if they are to continue trading.
Every year since the music download has been in existence they have grown in sales, and they have steadily increased their market share year on year. Apple’s foray into the download market with their iTunes product rapidly accelerated the CDs demise as the official standard for measuring a songs success. This is more evident in western and modernised societies; as emerging markets and third world countries are still ‘CD friendly’. However in such markets the CD still has to deal with it’s original adversaries, piracy and illegal duplication and eventually the digital revolution will saturate there also; so all in all I guess the CD is dead. The BBC [Radio One] stuck both their boots in when in 2009 they announced that they would no longer count physical CD sales when compiling their official charts and that only digital sales would be considered. Ironically some DJs and music connoisseurs who originally disliked or in some cases hated the CD because of its effect on vinyl are now bemoaning its decline. The CD resigned vinyl to vintage obscurity and it seems this may now be the best outcome the CD can hope for.
The digital revolution is affecting change in so many industries and the music industry has been a prominent example of this ever since before Napster and shareware put a rocket up their backside at the turn of the century. Myspace the original music social networking site is a prime example of how transient the landscape is in these ever changing times.
One of the latest digital music services to hit the market is named PR OMO HUTT launched this July Promo Hutt has been developed to enable DJs and music fans to legitimately ‘access music two to six weeks before it hits the stores whilst being able to feedback their opinion to the label’. DJ play and feedback have always been key to the release cycle whilst piracy and illegal duplication have long been the bane of the industry. Promo Hutt aims to provide an innovative way for DJs and fans to access music pre-release and the service includes security measures designed to limit illegal file sharing. Chris Gorsuch, Project Manager for Promo Hutt explains “DJs and fans that subscribe can now enjoy and benefit from the latest in electronic music whether they’re in the music business or they’re a follower of a particular label”.
Promo Hutt is just one example of the services and products that are now available in this ever evolving industry some will survive some will not. I can not confirm whether the CD is dead yet and I can not with any certainty predict how we will be accessing music in the future; the only thing we can be clear about – is that music itself will never die.