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Is the music industry killing physical copies?

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Dellinger View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 30 2017 at 21:53
I just found out about the band Soup, and have been hearing their new album and decided to buy it. However, I check it out in Amazon... there's only one copy available... well, I can understand that, since I don't expect many people to know about the band and so surely not many copies are made. But it's $25 (dollars)... I was thinking of buying it anyway, but did think it was rather expensive... then I check it out on ITunes... 60 pesos, which would be around 3 dollars... I mean, if I really like the album I do prefer to buy it on CD... and if I only like one or two songs then I'll buy only those albums on ITunes, but for this difference of price, it's just ridiculous. Perhaps up to $12 I would have gotten it on CD still. And in general I find that prog CD's, or anything that is not really mainstream, is more often than not up to such prices (at least something between $18 and $20). Anyone else thinks such difference of prices is harming the physical market and the music stores? Is it really necessary to have such high prices on CD's (let alone LP's)?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2017 at 22:15
Sometimes it will say one copy left when there are really more than just one copy left. It's a very common marketing tactic. Usually there is more than just one copy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 06:46
For many small artists, that includes most of prog artists of today, is quite affordable to produce a digital copy of an album, rather that spending quite a lot of money to put out a CD, of which only a few copies might sell. You just upload it on bandcamp, or any other similar place, and hope for the best. Sad indeed, but unfortunately true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 07:05
I understand why this seems to be the only viable option for under-the-radar bands - especially the ones found under the prog moniker. There are sadly not enough fans of X band to make the venture successful. I've said this before, kinda tongue-in-cheek, but I fear it isn't that far from the truth, which is that we've reached a point where there actually are more prog bands and artists than there are fans.
The good thing about recent years is that we've seen a vast ocean of new and upcoming bands....the very same though constitutes a problem in and of itself in the sheer forest of trees one has to navigate before finding the gems. Back in the day there at least seemed to be some kind of quality control before a band was released onto the market. Nowadays it's wholly up to yourself and a variety of internet surfing tricks to weed out the riff raff from the bee's proverbial knees.

The only ones responsible for this trend though is not the music industry but rather the consumers who decide to download albums ilegally over supporting the artist. The music industry as such has nothing to do with it.

With that being said, I've never seen so many young folks shopping for vinyl. Pretty much every time I'm out and about looking for records I run into teens and folks my age rummaging trough stacks of vinyl.
Most dedicated music fans I know still buy physical copies.


Edited by Guldbamsen - October 01 2017 at 07:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 13:15
$25 is absurd.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 14:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 14:31
Also, the price of vinyls and even CDs in most cases is pretty reasonable compared to digital downloads considering that when you pay for a download you get nothing that you couldn't get for free. I can understand buying music from Bandcamp to support the artist or label but paying for downloads on iTunes or Amazon is literally throwing your money away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2017 at 05:45
Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

when you pay for a download you get nothing that you couldn't get for free.
 
Would you be referring to illegal downloads here?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2017 at 06:22
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

I understand why this seems to be the only viable option for under-the-radar bands - especially the ones found under the prog moniker. There are sadly not enough fans of X band to make the venture successful. I've said this before, kinda tongue-in-cheek, but I fear it isn't that far from the truth, which is that we've reached a point where there actually are more prog bands and artists than there are fans.
The good thing about recent years is that we've seen a vast ocean of new and upcoming bands....the very same though constitutes a problem in and of itself in the sheer forest of trees one has to navigate before finding the gems. Back in the day there at least seemed to be some kind of quality control before a band was released onto the market. Nowadays it's wholly up to yourself and a variety of internet surfing tricks to weed out the riff raff from the bee's proverbial knees.

The only ones responsible for this trend though is not the music industry but rather the consumers who decide to download albums ilegally over supporting the artist. The music industry as such has nothing to do with it.

With that being said, I've never seen so many young folks shopping for vinyl. Pretty much every time I'm out and about looking for records I run into teens and folks my age rummaging trough stacks of vinyl.
Most dedicated music fans I know still buy physical copies.

You make great points here, indeed, it's the consumers tendency to get illegal copies that hurts a lot the sales of an album, and that is indeed wrong. Also, as you mentioned, it is very encouraging to see young people get into vinyl, giving me hope that not all is lost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2017 at 07:13
Unfortunately the industry at all levels has been killing music itself for decades. The nature of the beast. At least there was some semblance quality control back in the day. There does seem to be a craze for vinyl but is it a novelty that will wear off? Whenever I am in Toronto I hit the record shops that deal with both new and used vinyl more out of interest than anything. Thing is that they are asking ridiculous prices which makes it virtually impossible for younger people to experience what we did back in the seventies when buying records.. It seems that quality vinyl is only meant for the rich conniosseur. I recently saw a Tom Waits Black Rider vinyl from 1993 on sale for a hundred and f**king seventy five dollars. I mean we're not dealing Faberge Eggs here. It's freaking music. I also came across a copy of Lark's Tongues In Aspic that they wanted $60 for that you could also hear at a listening station. Just for fun I asked for a listen. The quiet parts were scratched to hell and skipped in places. I told the guy at the counter that he was f**king insane.  Used Pink Floyd vinyl is through the roof same with David Bowie.

Back in the day the big problem was transferring LPs to magnetic cassettes so as long as people are trying to get something for free there will be problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2017 at 13:44
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

when you pay for a download you get nothing that you couldn't get for free.
 
Would you be referring to illegal downloads here?
Downloads (legal or illegal depending on the source and where you live), streaming, ripping etc.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 02 2017 at 18:17
I spend half my income on physical specimens of music. If more human beings did the same it would create something called demand. It seems a majority of music lovers are happy with a digital download. Vinyl LPs are back in fashion however it seems that the big names of the past are more in the position to capitalize on this trend than the newbies of the world. Guldbumsen is right in that there are more musicians than fans these days! EVERYONE is in on the action. That is a great thing that anyone can make music but let's face it. Not everything is worth our precious time to hear ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2017 at 10:00
I prefer to buy a physical copy of music. Sadly, that's going the way of the dinosaur
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 01:40
Originally posted by Manuel Manuel wrote:

For many small artists, that includes most of prog artists of today, is quite affordable to produce a digital copy of an album, rather that spending quite a lot of money to put out a CD, of which only a few copies might sell. You just upload it on bandcamp, or any other similar place, and hope for the best. Sad indeed, but unfortunately true.
 
Yup, indeed...
 
It's probably more the smaller artistes that are killing the physical medium, so they can shun away from investing in CD or vinyl pressings...
 
Something that the industry probably thought strange at first, but quickly adapted and are tempted to doi the same.
 
I wish more people would do like adele did with her 23 album of a couple years back, by refusing to release downloads. It shot the physical sales stats through the roof
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 04:40
Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

It's probably more the smaller artistes that are killing the physical medium, so they can shun away from investing in CD or vinyl pressings...
 
Surely that's because physical CDs and vinyl cost a lot of money to produce and distribute?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 05:48
Originally posted by chopper chopper wrote:

Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

It's probably more the smaller artistes that are killing the physical medium, so they can shun away from investing in CD or vinyl pressings...
 
Surely that's because physical CDs and vinyl cost a lot of money to produce and distribute?
 
Vinyls cost much more than CDs to produce, yet you got bands that only cater vinyls (as if they could afford to lose out on CD buyers, which still outnumber the vinyl freaks 10 to 1), but it doesn't seem to make sense. while others simply provide dematerialized stuff and avoid the rest (but they've lost me as a client). A band like Hooffoot has waited almost two years to press CDS, and I finally got their album, as soon as they did release it... before that, I'd heard their music (through YT) and they hadn't received a cent from me. Luckily enough for them, their album is fantastic, so I was still interested in it two years later... Can't say that from many bands, though.
 
Plenty of bands go Bandcamp, and sell all three formats.
(figures below are totally abitral, but not far from the reality)
- And obviously the best returns will be on dematerialized music, as they will charge 8.00 ($£€) for no disc and no postage. Thus giving a return of 8.00 whatevers, with basically only accounting/administration time entering the picture
- The next one is CD, where for about 2.00 £$€ per set, if you press 500 items (this includes cases, booklets, disc & cellophane). Sold at 14.00/16.00 a shot and postage paid by the client, that's a 12 whatever return. You may want to skip the shipment from the factory to the band's rehearsal room where they will be stocked, by fetching them within 20 km of your place). Needless to say that the CD requires a fair number of hours of investments, shipping included. Something that MP3 don't have
- Vinyls can cost well above 20.00 (depending on how much you have pressed) a copy to press (cellophane is often an extra) and the shipping to your storage (often long distances, since vinyl presses are rare). Difficult to sell a vinyl above 30.00 whatever, whether you're charging or not the postage (packaging is also an issue)... So an artiste will make less money from selling vinyls than CDs, yet will prefer this because of the image. the investment in time should be roughly the same as for CDs.
 
Point is tha the industry is IMHO not the main culprit in the disappearance of physical products (vinyls or CDs), but the small artistes and the clients are...
 
But the industry has long understood and accommodated itself of this new trend/fact and is happily following suit, while keeping a share in all three categories.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 07:15
The very idea of music devoid of a physical medium was absolutely laughable to anyone in the music industry, from record manufacturers to retailers. There had always been LPs, tapes and CDs. Who could possibly be happy with just owning a  music file?
 
They found out the hard way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 07:45
For me music is for the ears. I'm not sentimental about physical copies. Fair enough a vinyl copy can sound special, fair enough physical covers can look nice, but I have figured out that while being able to acknowledge this, I can easily do without. Keep the immaterial files coming! (I'll even pay.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boojieboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 11:37
It's not the "music industry" per se, it's more of a technology advancement issue. The music industry makes much more money with physical products (CDs, etc.) than through mp3 sales. But it's out of their hands now. The Internet changed everything, and it's too big to control or wrestle back to their favor. They've shifted to DVDs and concert sales to make up the lost money. People and culture have changed too, and many younger people don't possess or relate to the physical aspect of music purchasing; the tangible side to it. That's also not the music industry's fault. There's no need to be blaming them.

I go all the way back to vinyl and 8-track tapes! I equally enjoy both the physical CDs and software mp3s. Sometimes I'll get something "new" entirely on mp3, but then go back and purchase the CD for the "full package", to get all of it.

As someone above eluded to, places like Amazon aren't always truthful about their stock/inventory. I've seen on more than one occasion where there was allegedly "one copy" left, and immediately after ordering, more copies magically appeared. I guess they don't expect people to go back and check. It is trickery for sure. They know how to manipulate people and sales.


Edited by Boojieboy - October 04 2017 at 11:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2017 at 12:22
It's a good question. If downloading is killing physical copies then it's a slow death. Vinyl has actually increased in sales quite a bit over the past ten years or so. I admit cds are on the decline but I think it will be a while before they are phased out entirely(if that does even happen). I think there's always going to be some kind of demand for a physical copy of something. I think it's the collector mentality in many of us. For example books are still around also. Sure you now have kindle but people still like to read physical books. With music people like to see the artwork and hold it in their hands. Cds do have some advantages over vinyl and vice versa but both have advantages(and I suppose disadvantages too)over downloads. If physical copies were eradicated completely I think too many people would rebel and demand for their return.
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