Sony Corp. of America this week announced plans to close a large CD-manufacturing plant in the U.S. that has operated for 50 years and produced vinyl music albums, compact discs and DVD movies. The manufacturing will be ceased by late March. The company cites the increase of digital music downloads as the reason for closure of the factory.
Sony DADC factory in Pitman, New Jersey, began producing vinyl LPs in 1960. In 1988, the facility began manufacturing compact discs. In addition, the factory has produced discs for PlayStation game consoles as well as DVDs. According to Sony's web-site, CD capacity of the fab is around 18 million discs per month, DVD capacity was at 15 million discs per month before Sony ceased to make them there last year. About 300 workers will lose their jobs because of the decision to close the plant.
"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," the company said in a statement.
Sony is consolidating the production of music CDs and video DVDs in a plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sales of music CDs have been decreasing for many years now. By contrast, digital downloads have increased dramatically, making CDs obsolete for a lot of people, primarily the young generation that uses MP3 players instead of CD decks to listen to music. The closure of the plant is just one of the consequences of the digital media revolution. It is clear that DVD is the next technology to die and if Blu-ray disc does not offer tangible advantages over digital rent or downloads, it will share the fate with CD and DVD.