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exact33
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:38 pm

Witchfinder wrote:
Lowest weekly sales recorded since Soundscan began in 1991!

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6236365/album-sales-hit-a-new-low-2014

i wonder what it would be like if Ken was not buying anymore???

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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:53 am

Hell, I'm still waiting for digital sales to adopt a reasonable price point. I mean, it makes zero sense to pay $9.99 for digital files that are sub-par from an audio standpoint to the CD, which often costs the same or only a dollar or two more.

Don't get me started on sites like HDtracks that charge premium pricing for files you could get for less if you just ripped the CD you bought in FLAC. And yes, I know they have better than CD quality stuff too, but that's a crapshoot too both due to dubious audio sourcing (to the point that I know torrent sites that won't accept stuff from HDTracks, which is saying something) and the fact that HD doesn't mean the mix or master are any good.
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Alex Dee Rokket
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:33 pm

The CD format is on life support and has been for some time.

The future of music on physical format is not looking very bright; however, if the physical format is to exist at all as storage medium, vinyl will probably be the driving format. It will likely continue to appeal to a niche market. For majority of consumers, streaming services have replaced the need to purchase physical formats. Streaming will bring the CD/physical format sales to a decisive end in the years to come - based on current sale trends, it's unlikely CDs for most bands will still be produced for much longer (my prediction within 5 years from now CDs will be non-existent).

The future is vinyl for physical (probably in limited numbers for collectors), and streaming for digital.

Unfortunately other formats such as DVD-Audio and more recently Blu-Ray albums didn't manage to replace the CD audio format as the next format of choice. Though superior sounding than mp3s and streaming, I think those formats were released at a time when consumer expectations changed dramatically - now it's all about accessibility, it's a zero patience consumer market. Had these formats existed in a time before the internet, itunes, and streaming services they may have had a better chance and possibly more artists would have adopted DVD-Audio 5.1 mixes etc.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:51 pm

Alex Dee Rokket wrote:
The CD format is on life support and has been for some time.

The future of music on physical format is not looking very bright; however, if the physical format is to exist at all as storage medium, vinyl will probably be the driving format. It will likely continue to appeal to a niche market. For majority of consumers, streaming services have replaced the need to purchase physical formats. Streaming will bring the CD/physical format sales to a decisive end in the years to come - based on current sale trends, it's unlikely CDs for most bands will still be produced for much longer (my prediction within 5 years from now CDs will be non-existent).

The future is vinyl for physical (probably in limited numbers for collectors), and streaming for digital.

Unfortunately other formats such as DVD-Audio and more recently Blu-Ray albums didn't manage to replace the CD audio format as the next format of choice. Though superior sounding than mp3s and streaming, I think those formats were released at a time when consumer expectations changed dramatically - now it's all about accessibility, it's a zero patience consumer market. Had these formats existed in a time before the internet, itunes, and streaming services they may have had a better chance and possibly more artists would have adopted DVD-Audio 5.1 mixes etc.

Dude you're back! Oh, and agreed. Laughing
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:48 am

I hope that doesn't turn out to be the case, because collecting is a great source of joy (and CDs are much easier to move with than records). The move towards pairing CDs with hi-def Blu-ray discs or DVDs is one I hope to see more of.
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:20 am

CDs won't go away entirely. Has vinyl or cassette? Nope. They will remain a niche format long in to the future.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:26 am

I almost wonder if we haven't been looking at a bubble in music purchases. I mean, think of how little 78s and early LPs sold and there was still a music "industry."

Is it at all possible that "niche" is all music was ever really meant to be and we just happen to have had a contemporary boom to it that wasn't its natural state?
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:38 am

What are the mainstream music consumers gonna do when the internet is deemed unsafe and access is limited, controlled, and/or denied. Or the possibility of "stuff" hitchhiking on a music download that gets in the ol hard drive and corrupts everything. Then you have to start buying stuff all over again. Be it hardware and software. Just a thought.

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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:15 pm

Pff. I'm still in the old school of computing. Operating Systems bug out. Viruses happen. Hard drives die. I'd much rather know that I've got my CDs to re-rip than to have to panic because both my main and backup harddrives chose to make a suicide pact and ate half of my collection for real!
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Wargod
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:51 pm

Vinyl sales are the only increase in sales.

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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:16 pm

Vinyl is indeed going up. But still only 3% of overall album sales.

And I don't know how much more potential for growth is there. I can't imagine seeing mainstream pop fans buying vinyl...
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:45 pm

Here is an article with 99 problems facing the music industry.

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/09/02/music-industry-99-problems
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:04 pm

There's a lot of interesting info in that list, but there are a few points that seem to miss the mark.

Everything is based around this label model, the RIAA and a framework that has been in place since the 50s or earlier. The idea of IT failing is treated as equal to MUSIC failing and that seems a false equivalence.

I mean, even the complaints about streaming are bunko. Tell me that, if every artist controlled the licensing for their own catalog, that Spotify and Pandora would have ANY kind of stable to draw from if they continued to offer these paltry sums for streaming plays. Granted, you can't do much about piracy, but when the labels and everyone else on up tried to treat fans as the enemy, that certainly burned just about every bridge of goodwill that might have once existed as well.

I still stand by my statements on here that it'll be an individual relationship between artists and their fans that rules the day going forward. The big trick is going to be figuring out what takes the place of radio for getting the word out about new artists, albums and so forth as far as new fans are concerned.

The only bit that I did agree with (though it sort of glossed over the "processing fees") was the list on live music. That is sad but true, but it's also pricing itself out of the market.
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:23 pm

I think the real issue here is music has very little value to the general public. In the past, music was a lucrative commodity for a number of factors. The biggest factor being that there were fewer alternatives for your leisure dollars. The internet changed all that and now any niche hobby/interest can be explored. Music's commodity value was further damaged by the loss monopoly control over distribution by the labels. Now that virtually anything recorded in the history of the world is available at a click for free and thus there is no need to buy it.

Of course the music industry existed mostly to serve teenagers and that demographic didn't even exist until the late 1940s - early 1950s. Prior to that, teenagers were merely young adults who went to work.

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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:37 pm

I'm not sure that music is really that damaged as a commodity though. The pittance artists see as a result of streaming wouldn't be possible if most artists' most lucrative catalog items weren't being controlled by predatory contracts that were signed when they were in their teens or early 20s. That entire model was based on screwing artists for maximum profit with only a handful of exceptions - most of which only existed because of savvy artists or management, NOT because the labels were being kind.

Then, when downloading hit, you had labels people already pretty much knew to be predatory going after FANS, many of whom already knew how badly the musicians they were fans of had been screwed by the same conglomerates.

Now, there's a distinct element of baby out with the bathwater here on the part of music fans, but I think this is a mess the labels created themselves almost out of whole cloth and made worse at every step of the way. That's why the burden of faith on my end goes to the artists, who are really the only ones who have any chance of righting the ship
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:48 pm

If music were a valuable commodity, people would be willing to pay for it. They aren't. Not only won't people buy music, very few are willing to even go to concerts anymore. There won't be any more successful artists on the level of a Led Zeppelin or a Metallica. There is simply a lack of a unified mass popular culture at this point that would make that kind of success possible.

Music is invaluable to me and everyone else on this board, but we are a tiny fraction of the public.
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ZombieHavoc
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:55 pm

The environmental thing that gets a brief mention is something I consider some times.
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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:16 pm

Witchfinder, you're not wrong at all, but music has no historical precedent for the industry that was at work from the 70s through to the late 90s. That's a pretty brief span of time in the grand scheme and it was largely technology driven as well. Really looking at it, the sudden affordability of radio, phonograph, tape deck, cd player, etc. was a huge driver in music becoming that big. Just looks like the boom also had a bust to go along with it. While the size of the music industry is shrinking, it's still there. We're just watching a very slow deflation.

Honestly, the inability of musicians to make a living may be down to the oversaturation, which is the downfall of these services like Youtube, Spotify, etc. as much as their accessibility is an asset.

Music has been a cultural constant and while we may never see a Metallica/Zeppelin superstar again, is that really such a bad thing for us as fans?

Zombie, I was curious to know more about the environmental impact of vinyl. The cloud server thing is a no-brainer that hides in plain sight (you mean a bazillion computers running a bazillion hard drives wastes energy? durrr), but the vinyl thing shocked me a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:27 pm

In related news: U2 releases their new album for free on iTunes.

http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/free-u2-album-apple-itunes-1201301974/
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ZombieHavoc
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:30 pm

S.D. wrote:
In related news: †U2 releases their new album for free on iTunes. †

http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/free-u2-album-apple-itunes-1201301974/

No thanks, U2. I'm good.
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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:35 pm

S.D. wrote:
In related news: †U2 releases their new album for free on iTunes. †

http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/free-u2-album-apple-itunes-1201301974/

Was just going to post that! Meanwhile, Gene Simmons has taken a hit out on Bono's life..... for doing this before he thought of it.. Hell, he'll claim it was his idea!
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Witchfinder
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:44 pm

Runicen wrote:
Witchfinder, you're not wrong at all, but music has no historical precedent for the industry that was at work from the 70s through to the late 90s. †That's a pretty brief span of time in the grand scheme and it was largely technology driven as well. †Really looking at it, the sudden affordability of radio, phonograph, tape deck, cd player, etc. was a huge driver in music becoming that big. †Just looks like the boom also had a bust to go along with it. †While the size of the music industry is shrinking, it's still there. †We're just watching a very slow deflation. †

Honestly, the inability of musicians to make a living may be down to the oversaturation, which is the downfall of these services like Youtube, Spotify, etc. as much as their accessibility is an asset. †

Music has been a cultural constant and while we may never see a Metallica/Zeppelin superstar again, is that really such a bad thing for us as fans? †

Zombie, I was curious to know more about the environmental impact of vinyl. †The cloud server thing is a no-brainer that hides in plain sight (you mean a bazillion computers running a bazillion hard drives wastes energy? †durrr), but the vinyl thing shocked me a bit.

I think your concept of a "bubble" is correct when talking about the music business.

The "vinyl being bad for the environment" argument is stupid and unquantified. Bad for the evironment means what exactly? Compared to what exactly?

For me personally, this is a golden age. I can have almost any recording in any format that I want. Reissues, repressings, cds, vinyl, dvds, blah, blah, blah... are abundant. Also, I am deluged with new bands playing music that I love. I think it's great. Too bad noone's making a living off of it, but I'm certainly shelling out the coin like nobody's business.
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:00 pm

Meanwhile my youngest kid and his friends are jamming on a military base in the Pacific. The cycle continues....

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Runicen
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:01 am

I just can't help but observe that all of the prophets of doom with regard to the music industry are Spotify consultants, former CEOs of record labels, etc.

"I remember the glory days when we laughed at artists who wanted an extra $50 a week for food while doing lines of coke off of the bare stomachs of a schoolbus full of strippers... †Now, we're lucky to be smoking crack with a short bus full of homeless people. †Yep. †Napster killed the industry... †Damned entitled kids."
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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: Album Sales Continue to Plummet   Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:48 am

Record Company Guy: (shakes fist) "You dang snot nosed kids, with the loading down of your 3MP's to your pod-eyes off the interwebs! GET OFF MY LAWN!"

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