// A brief evaluation of how music platforms and products have evolved //
Clicks Group dropped a bombshell on us last month. It’s music & entertainment vehicle “Musica” retail brand, will be shutting down completely from May 2021 in a phasing out manner. This after Musica been in the game for 29 years selling us CD’s, DVD’s, PS games and entertainment accessories.
I'm a 90’s baby, so I actually remember a time before YouTube, Netflix and your Spotify’s of the world. See, the compact disc (CD’s) peaked in the 1990’s, completely replacing old fashioned cassette tapes and vinyls for mass consumption of music. This shining plastic disc media was cheap and easier to handle. My mom bought me my first CD albums, Destiny Child’s ‘Survivor’, Mapaputsi ‘Izinja’, Mandoza ‘50/50’ and Pitch Black Afro 'Styling Gel’.
Ma 2000 wont understand the nostalgia of having a Hi-Fi system, unwrapping your new CD out of the plastic folder, staring at the album art cover, reading the artist "thank yous’" in the sleeve. Popping the CD in the Hi-Fi system, singing karaoke style in your bedroom, cause all the songs lyrics were printed on the back sleeve.
In latter years CD burners and MP3 came onto the scene. I'll be the first to admit, we used to ‘dub’ big time. Around high school, at boarding school our ‘dub master’ was Vuyisile. LoL, that brother alone, might as well have been responsible for the decline of global album sales, he literally was the go-to-guy to dub music at our school, he dubbed for EVERYONE. Charging R20 per disc, you gave him your playlist and he hooked you up with latest Usher jams. Business blew up so well for him he even dubbed for teachers, lol.
Now you hardly even see CD players in cars or CD drives on laptops & computers anymore. CD inputs have for sometime now, been phased out in most electronics by manufacturers. Wireless connections are the new frontiers, mix that with internet on-demand streaming applications & services, the death of the compact disc was inevitable. Musica is not the only causality. Competitor “Look n Listen” filed for voluntary business rescue in 2014. Also citing the digital shift in entertainment consumption as prime cause of revenue loss.
As I look around and observe the victims the internet has claimed due to digitization. I wonder who’s next? Which art medium might suffer next? Radio are you safe?
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