Compact Disc celebrates 25 years of existence

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

Precisely 25 years ago, Philips and Sony revolutionized the world market with the development of Compact Disc. At the time, few imagined that the small record would conquer the world in such a short time, replacing cassettes and vinyl.

The official release of the compact discs took place in November 1982 and their commercialization started the following spring. The first band to sell their work on CD was ABBA, who bet on the support to commercialize the album «The Visitors», edited by Polygram.

The CD quickly became one of the biggest successes in the industry and, since then, more than 200 billion units of these small media have been sold.

Over the years, CDs have ceased to be exclusively linked to music and have revolutionized the market again by allowing the recording of content, and also function as a data storage medium, instead of the traditional floppy disk.

However, in recent years the industry has been suffering the consequences of the technological revolution and the appearance of the MP3 format and pen drives they began to mark the path of the CD in the market and to give reason to the predictions of Bill Gates who, about three years ago, claimed that the compact disc had its days numbered.

Despite continuing to be the preferred sales channel for artists, the CD began to face competition from other media and especially from storage alternatives online. Music-sharing networks like Napster, Kazaa and BitTorrent kicked off a new era and led to a decline in CD sales.

Subsequently, the arrival of services such as iTunes, which bet on the sale of music and digital albums, consolidated the new trend that had been asserting itself in the digital music segment.

As a reflection of this reality, the sales of compact discs dropped significantly last year to 553 million in the United States alone, representing a drop of 22 percent since 2001, when 712 million units were sold.

Patricia Barreiros

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