----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Hodge" <[log in to unmask]>
> I'd call it more greed than simple economics... If companies like KINO
> can bring out obscure materials on DVD which cater to a small but very
> dedicated clientele, then the major companies should be able to do the
> same thing.
The difference is this:
If a small company can sell 1,000 copies, their costs are essentially
limited to the pressing costs (or, possibly, "burning" costs...?) of
that issue. Since they probably store their stock in a spare room,
they can keep the thousand discs on hand for a cost of $0.00, and
ship them out as they are ordered. As soon as sales receipts surpass
pressing costs, any further orders are profit!
A "major company" probably has more than a thousand dealers, each of
whom has to be supplied with X copies (and any of those which aren't
sold within a specific length of time are returnable for credit).
They also have much more "overhead"...larger staff, larger and
fancier buildings, usw...and an appropriate part of that expense
is assigned to each released item.
So, the "major company" isn't set up...business-wise or even
physically...to press and catalog an item that MAY sell a thousand
copies eventually. They think...and operate...on the basis of
issues that either sell 100,000 within a week of two of issue
or are immediately relegated to the "cut-out" area!
'T'wasn't always thus...I recall reading that ARC used to cut
Billie Holiday records "om the cheap" by using whatever (usually
Black) jazz musicians happened to be in NYC and paying them a low
but set fee (probably including the booze...?) for "after hours"
(after clubs closed) session work...so there wasn't a lot of cost
involved. But...they knew each BH record had a guaranteed sale of
a thousand copies or so there in NYC, so there was also a small
but guaranteed profit...!
Steven C. Barr