Celebrate good times because the compact disc, or CD, is turning 40 years old in the United States. The first commercial CD was released in Japan in 1982, but it didn’t make its way to the US until March of 1983. The CD was a sleek alternative to vinyl records and cassette tapes, promising crisp, clean digital music. At only 4.5 inches in diameter, CDs could hold up to 74 minutes of music and allowed users to skip tracks and shuffle.
By the late 80s, the CD had overtaken cassette tape sales. Since its arrival, music lovers have purchased 14.9 billion CDs. However, CDs have since lost a lot of ground to MP3 players and streaming services like Spotify, which recently topped 10 billion paid subscriptions for the first time.
Despite the rise of digital music, CDs continue to hold a place in the hearts of many music enthusiasts, and their legacy can still be seen in the way we consume music today. So let’s cue the music and celebrate the CD’s 40th anniversary!
Check out Sony’s 10 year commercial for the CD below!