Magnetic & Optical Media Manufacturing Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Magnetic & Optical Media Manufacturing Industry Profile

Companies in this industry manufacture optical discs, hard drive disks, and magnetic tape storage. Major companies include CMC Magnetics and RITEK (Taiwan); FUJIFILM, Maxell, Showa Denko, and Sony (Japan).

The global magnetic and optical media industry is dominated by Asian manufacturers. Media manufacturers are targeting Africa, the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, and emerging markets in Asia for growth.

The US magnetic and optical media manufacturing industry includes about 57 firms with combined annual revenue of about $379 million.


Demand for magnetic and optical media is driven by ever-expanding data storage needs of businesses and consumers. However, demand for particular storage formats can decline rapidly as new technologies are developed. The profitability of individual companies depends on manufacturing efficiency, rapid technological advancements, effective marketing, and efficient distribution. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively by developing new products. The US industry is highly concentrated.


Major products include magnetic recording media and parts (95%). Other products include optical disks, blank CDs, DVDs, and other recordable media as well.

Common optical disc formats include compact discs (CDs), recordable compact discs (CD-Rs), rewritable compact discs (CD-RWs), digital versatile discs (DVD), recordable digital versatile discs (DVD-Rs), rewritable digital versatile discs (DVD-RWs), Blu-ray, and Blu-ray recordable (BD-R). Optical discs are made from polycarbonate plastic which is covered with a photosensitive dye, a metallic layer, and a protective coating.

Magnetic hard ...

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