Sony Closes CD Plant, Are Optical Disks Dying?

Recently, Sony has announced that it plans to close one of its just two CD manufacturing plants in the US, leading many to believe that the optical disk faces a slow and agonizing death, as it's replaced by other storage devices and broadband Internet access.

As Cnet reports, Sony let all its 300 employees, that work at the company's 50 year-old Sony DADC plant in Pitman, New Jersey, know that it plans to shut down the facility and shift its operations to a factory in Indiana.

"In light of the current economic environment and challenges facing the physical media industry, Sony DADC is taking additional steps to reduce cost from our supply chain network in order to remain competitive," said Lisa Gephardt, a Sony spokeswoman, in a statement.

Although the news came as a shock for the plant's employees, the move isn't so surprising considering that CDs have become almost obsolete in today's world.

Currently, its last outpost is the music CD market, but this too, has been pretty slow in recent years, as online services such as iTunes and/or Pandora have made users switch towards digital music.

To better put things into perspective, Nielsen SoundScan says that US music sales fell 2.4 percent last year and digital track sales grew only 1 percent, to reach 1.17 billion.

And CDs were the most affected by this trend, as album sales have dropped by as much as 23%, after having a similarly disastrous 2009.

As far as we can tell, the CD will continue to decline in popularity during the following years until it eventually disappears from the market entirely.

Other optical discs may be quick to follow, as the DVD will most certainly be replaced by video streaming services like Netflix or Vudu, the Blu-ray disc also contributing to its predecessor downfall.

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