Sony Closes CD Factory In NJ, 300 Lose Jobs

Three hundred people in New Jersey are losing their jobs, and it’s all our fault. Enough consumers prefer to buy digital downloads (when we buy music at all) that Sony is closing down their Pitman, NJ CD factory at the end of March.

“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,” a Sony representative said in a statement.

People do still buy DVDs, but Sony moved that function to another plant in Indiana in early 2010. About 170 people lost their jobs then.

The facility originally opened in 1960 to manufacture vinyl records.

300 workers at Sony’s DADC facility in Pitman set to be laid off [Gloucester County Times] (Thanks, Reading_Comprehension!)

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  1. vioviovioletta says:

    I haven’t bought a CD in ages, but it’s always sad when people lose jobs.

  2. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I buy CDs! Well, I can’t buy THAT many because I’m poor. :(

  3. pot_roast says:

    They’re probably just moving production to China, like everybody else. :/

  4. The Upright Man says:

    I buy CDs from the awesome indie store in Baltimore City, but I don’t make it down there nearly often enough :(

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    One of these callers suggested that, based on what has been happening across the country recently, the Sony plant should tighten security to avoid dangerous situations that could arise if employees cannot find new jobs.

    Um..awkward. I wonder if the guy’s just voicing a concern, or if he’s subconsciously suggesting that there are individuals who would react with violence. I mean, people lose their jobs all the time. It’s scary to imagine that when people lose their jobs, their immediate thought is that someone might react with violence.

    • Gramin says:

      Two words: New Jersey.

    • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

      Unfortunately this could be a stark reality in the coming years. The move from low skilled labor to services will undoubtedly leave plenty of Americans displaced and obsolete. Couple that with never ending overpopulation you have a recipe for something wicked coming this way in the next century for this country – especially if nothing is done (nothing will be done).

  6. anarkie says:

    At this point, you don’t even need to download or ilegally download. With smartphones and programs like Slacker, Pandora, Grooveshark, etc… You can stream almost anything on the fly.

    • stormbird says:

      Yay Grooveshark! They don’t have Beatles music, though.

    • p. observer says:

      love grooveshark that and rhapsody is where i get most of my completely legitimate music ;) i haven’t heard of slacker but ill definitely try it out now

  7. Liam Kinkaid says:

    300? This is madness.

  8. Robofish says:

    I still buy cds if it’s one that I really want. Which lately hasn’t been that often…..*commentsonstateofmusicindustryandcrappymusicrunningrampant*

  9. Straspey says:

    Unfortunately, this entire argument is based upon the assumption that everybody is (naturaally) talking about “pop” music…

    But for those of use who listen primarily to classical music, the move to music-via-the-internet is (and has been for some time now) poison.

    I still own a respectable collection of vinyl recordings (and a turntable) as well as over 500 CD’s of classical music – which I listen to on a traditional “sound system” consisting of an amp, CD player/turntable and two large speakers.

    I remember the days when I would walk into Sam Goody’s on 3rd Avenue, near Grand Central Station, and ask if the had Leonard Bernstein’s recording of Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony – and the clerk would ask me in his thick German accent, “What do you buy – mono or stereo”? (For the first few years, my answer would be “mono”.)

    You’ll forgive me if I find it unappealing to listen to the last quartets of Beethoven, or Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610″ on a small pair of earbuds while running on the treadmill at the gym – or streaming over my smartphone while waiting for the bus.

    For me, filling my living room with the gorgeous sounds of The Cleveland Orchestra playing Brahms’ Third Symphony is an experience which cannot be duplicated or equaled by downloading streaming content off the internet.

    Yes – I know – I’m one of a very small minority, as well as a very small market…

    But is still sucks, none the less.

    • th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

      I hear ya – gas was also cheaper 10 yrs ago.

      It’s called FLAC, my friend.

    • human_shield says:

      Agreed, but I listen to classical music but only own a handful of CDs. Digital downloads are more cost effective.

    • golfinggiraffe says:

      Sounds like somebody could use a lossless digital audio player and a pair of ultimate ears triple.fi 10s.

      • Straspey says:

        But that’s my point – I don’t WANT to listen to music with tiny earbuds.

        Perhaps it would be helpful if I mentioned that I also play this music and none of my friends or colleagues listens to music that way.

        In fact, many of us still firmly believe that nothing beats the sound quality of a 24-track analogue recording.

        I’m not talking about loss-of-quality…but rather one of preference.

  10. theycallmeGinger says:

    I still buy CDs and even LPs if the band is one of my favorites or I feel it’s going to be (or is) and epic album (I usually buy online from Insound, NYC). Also depends on the artwork or any little extras that come with the purchase. Most of the LPs I’ve purchased in the last few years come with a free digital download.

    Though, that’s not the norm and it’s pretty obvious why a CD Factory would shut down. If the employees didn’t see this coming 10 years ago, they were in serious denial.

  11. th3v6cann3val0s3 says:

    How is progressing technology “our fault”? I thought that was the whole point of modern civilization?

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      How many jobs have been created by iTunes, Amazon Downloads, or any of the other MP3 stores, as well as the companies that provide streaming music? Netflix has an army of people working in DVD distribution centers – those are jobs that did not exist 10 years ago.

      • pythonspam says:

        Sure they did… they were working at blockbusters, movies gallery, hollywood videos, etc. that have now mostly closed.

        • Gramin says:

          Arg… No, those people existed. But those jobs never did.

          • Straspey says:

            So it’s like, you’re saying, all those people were hanging out on the corner like day laborers waiting for Blockbuster, Amazon, iTunes and SONY to give them jobs ?

            The concept of being “phased out” of a job or profession is centuries old – just ask all those guys who were paid to copy books and sheet music by hand, before the invention of the printing press and movable type.

            DoH !!

            • stormbird says:

              I like that, snobby guys standing on a street corner with signs:

              “Will Ignore You For Food”
              “Will Snort At Your Selection For Dental”
              “I Haven’t Ignored Someone At A Register While Talking On My Cell For 3 Days”
              “Piercings And Bad Tattos Don’t Pay For Themselves, You Know”

  12. dwb says:

    The same thing happened to all those buggy whip companies a while back . . .

  13. JohnJ says:

    I don’t buy digital music. CDs are lossless, so they offer sound quality that it superior to (compressed) digital music. An added bonus of CDs, is that if your computer crashes, your music collection doesn’t disappear. (grin) I buy all of my CDs on Amazon.com, which has a huge selection, and decent prices.

    IMHO, if music companies aren’t selling enough CDs, shouldn’t they respond by lowering their list prices? I thought that was how the whole supply/demand thing was supposed to work. (grin)

    Of course, it’s hard for music companies to compete with peer-to-peer networks, where young people get their music for free.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      If your computer crashes, you always have your backup (right?).

      If you’re very careful, you have an offsite backup as well, so if your house burns down, you at least get your data back. Unless you’ve copied all your CDs and have the offsite storage room, you’re out of luck.

    • jason in boston says:

      FLAC? Harddrives are cheap. And Cds aren’t exactly “lossless”.

    • tjthayer says:

      1 – CDs ARE digital music (unless you know of some magical analog CD format)
      #2 – FLAC for the really important stuff, including classical.
      #3 – 320bps CBR MP3s for the “general” music, and majority of my collection.
      #4 – I guarantee you couldn’t tell the difference between any of the above in a blind-listening test. Not a shot against you, less than .00001% of the population could – and they’re sound engineers.

      Now, when you get down to the crappy iTunes level of MP3 compression — yes, you most certainly can tell the difference. Unless, of course, you’re listening with little earbuds.

      • dru_zod says:

        I can tell a very, very slight difference in FLAC and 320 kbps MP3, but only when listening through headphones, and not on everything. It’s easier to tell on orchestra recordings (classical, film scores) than stuff with vocals.

  14. BeastMasterJ says:

    You all should be ashamed of yourselfs for not listening to enough CDs while riding a stagecoach into town to pick up the newspaper! The blood of those industries is on ALL OF YOUR HANDS!

  15. SabreDC says:

    In related news, Sony has teamed with Shanghai Media Group and opened a new 130,000 square foot Blu-Ray manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. This new factory employs 200 people and cranks out 500,000 Blu-Ray discs a month for Sony Pictures and Zoke Culture Development Co. (Chinese film distribution company).

  16. Nighthawke says:

    I would, that is if they would not put rootkits on their CD’s, sign on lousy bands and treat them like garbage. Oh, and try not to piss off the masses by discontinuing fantastic products like the AIBO.

  17. AllanG54 says:

    Sad to see the jobs go but I thought vinyl was making a comeback. I guess not as big of a comeback as needed to keep this plant open.

  18. Halliday says:

    I just bought a cd yesterday. Keep making cds!

    • dru_zod says:

      I’ve bought 3 CDs in the past month, two new, one used. Two of those were releases I could have downloaded from iTunes, but darn it, I like to have the physical CD with the nice artwork and the booklet. The used one was something that is not available on Amazon, iTunes, or anywhere else for download. Contrary to popular belief, there is still music that is not available to download, legally or not.

  19. hypnotik_jello says:

    Maybe they can get a job pumping gas…

  20. MB17 says:

    Our fault? These 300 were producing a dying media. What did they expect?

  21. El_Fez says:

    You know, I remember back when the CD was first introduced, how the record companies all said “CD’s cost way more than records just until we get enough CD manufacturing plants. Once that happens, the costs will come down to the vinyl price point”

    Now that they’re closing CD pressing facilities, where the hell is my vinyl price point?!?

  22. Anaxamenes says:

    I only buy my music on CDs.

    First off, they are a great way to keep a backup of your music in a superior .wav format that has more information and can produce better sound. Manufactured CDs are of a higher quality than the ones you write at home, andwill last longer.

    Second, I almost always find songs on the cd that I like more than the song or two I bought it for. So I end up with four or five songs that I love, but wouldn’t have spent time listening too on the 20 second clips on Amazon or itunes.

    Third, what can I say, I like the booklets and info they include with the CDs, though they are doing less of that these days.

  23. cardigan says:

    So wait, you’re telling me that offering media in a cheaper, more popular, more easily consumable format is causing older formats to be phased out and production to slow?

    :O

  24. Dacker says:

    I have an aunt, late uncle, and cousins in Pitman who we used to visit. I remember that used to be a record factory, for Columbia Records, IIRC.

    On one trip, my father rented a plane at their grass strip airport and took my cousins and us for rides. The steam from the record factory was an easy to spot reference location. It was a big place, at least in the 70s.

  25. uniden says:

    FTW
    8-Track

  26. Duckula22 says:

    I think this is a opportunity to turn this into a good thing. I’m thinking a re-purposed factory that burns MAME disks.