Let’s just hope it 's not too late. I wonder though, does this means labels will stop making physical media? Various plastics used in CDs, LPs and cassettes are not exactly environmentally-friendly.
My understanding is that streaming has a higher environmental impact than physical media…
- The environmental impact of streaming is roughly determined by how clean the electricity used in data centers is, so the impact can be mitigated. Plastics on the other hand are always ‘dirty’.
- Most people stream and buy media, so if you eliminate the latter, you’ll be better off.
- Most people back up their physical media, so you end up with both physical media and a digital backup anyway. Why not just buy digital in the first place?
- People stream all sorts of content, not only music. If you eliminated media streaming, you’d still need the internet to be up an running for everything else, with similar costs.
Plastics that end up in landfill are harmful. I’m not convinced of the harmfulness of a plastic product that is designed to be permanent. I get that I’m probably a little out of step on this - and that not all CDs and vinyl LPs end up in the treasured collections of enthusiasts.
Ultimately though - when it comes to streaming and digital storage - we need to generate cleaner electricity as @Marian suggests.
You’re right. I guess physical media ends up in landfills at much lower rate than other plastics - even the ones that are supposedly recyclable. However, manufacturing media has an environmental impact. I see no downside to giving that up altogether, other than perhaps nostalgia. I think that’s a more than fair price to pay for our future.
While we debate what this means there’s always the chance that it’s nothing but a greenwashing PR stunt. I know, I’m a cynic…
I’m not a big fan of streaming - but I am an enthusiastic downloader as I feel most comfortable with the ‘ownership model’. My problem is where the download comes with no documentation / PDF booklet and costs more than the CD. With downloading in decline I don’t see the record labels and download stores upping their game sadly - which leaves us with Spotify and Apple Music (probably).