First, a bit of education: record distributors are the go-between for labels and retail stores. They're the middlemen that collect records from all corners of the globe and then transport that eclectic mix and send them to both big box stores and local record shops alike. For three of the four major labels-- Sony, Universal, and EMI-- the distributor of choice has been Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation, or Sony DADC.
That is soon to be changing, however, an announcement from Anderson Merchandisers, a Knoxville, TN-based distributor, confirms that Anderson has purchased the CD distribution rights to those three major labels. Anderson is already the largest music wholesale provider in the country, so acquiring the major label properties-- aside from the perpetual hold-outs at Warner-- will supposedly streamline the process. I doubt, however, that CD prices or CD sales will be affected much, if at all.
The big news seems to be that Sony DADC is looking to get out of the CD business with this move, apparently unable to turn a profit selling their own music. It's not the death knell of the compact disc or anything, but it's one more strike against a physical format on the decline. [TDS]