I'm sure you’ve asked this question, “how long does recordable optical media last? Albeit in a more specific way. Unfortunately, there isn’t a catch-all answer. The most important factors for optical media longevity are the media quality, the writing methods, and the storage practices. Please keep in mind your disc can still fail, even if you choose the highest quality, highest rated disc available.
Note: The best defense against data loss is to keep making backups. Make backups, make backups of your backups, and keep a backup schedule. Your hard drive, flash drive, and optical media have a propensity to fail.
Once you make a backup disc, be sure to store it properly. Do not expose the disc to excess sunlight, extreme temperatures, or to rough environments where the disc can break. Usually, storing the disc in some type of case in a cool, dry place will ensure the highest lifespan for your media.
Do your own research to determine which recordable disc manufacturer you trust. Here is a list to get you started:
- Verbatim | All optical media
- TDK | All storage media
- Sony | Blu-ray media, DVD media
- Memorex | Main website, Edit: website only has drives now.
Here are some results I've had with recordable media lifespan:
- BD-R – 5 years | Expected life is 30 to 50 years
- DVD-R, DVD+R – 6 years | Expected life is 5 to 25 years
- CD-R, CD+R – 9 years | Expected life is up to 10 years
My results do include using multiple disc manufacturers.
Also, before you go, check out the details on M-DISC. It's a storage solution that's rated to last 1,000 years. Not bad for longevity, heh?