How Compact Disc Lost Its Brilliance

Nothing is permanent in this world. The watch that you are wearing, the lecture chairs that you are sitting on, the television that is showing your favorite shows and the gadgets that are so portable will one day become obsolete and become a thing of the past. Below is the story of how the compact disc lost its place in the industry that it so thrived before.

Thirty years ago, the band Dire Straits successfully released their fifth album called Brothers in Arms. The album completely revolutionized the music industry and it was on the way to become one of the best selling albums. For the first time, the album sold more on its compact disc form than on vinyl. After three years that compact discs appeared on music shops, the album Brothers in Arms was the notable milestone that marked the dawning of a new era: the Compact Disc Era.

In the book “Perfecting Sound Forever” written by Greg Milner, he stated that the compact disc became the “fastest growing home entertainment product in history”. Before CDs became a reckoning force, vinyl and cassettes were popular then. However, the sales of CD overturned its predecessors catapulting it to the number one spot. The 12 cm disc became the music industry’s biggest money spinner. In the mid-90, retailers and record labels felt that the compact discs were indestructible. It felt that it was going to last for eternity.

It did not of course. After more than 10 years of decline now, the income of worldwide CD has been finally surpassed by the revenues of digital music last year alone. It is very clear that this sudden shift is made possible by technological advancements although almost no one had foreseen it. It was because CD was just so successful. CD was just so popular and it was making a lot of income for the music industry that no one imagined a life without the compact discs. However, the unthinkable happened and the rising star was suddenly dethroned. When digital music came into the scene, it totally stole the market and the revenue from compact discs.