At 8/8/2008 04:01 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>There should be NOTHING out of print, anywhere in the world --
>anything that's not viable as a manufactured CD should be sold online.
Purely as a business proposition, reissuing archival material online
is probably a marginal enterprise. Just because there are master
tapes or metal parts in the warehouse, there are costs involved in
preparing the content for digital distribution -- and the owners of
the archives must expect to recover those expenses on very small
per-copy revenue. So there's some kind of relatively high minimum
sales volume needed to justify the effort. You can do it for Caruso
or Jimmie Rogers, but it's a lot harder to justify the expense for a
reissue of Mose Tapiero's ocarina solos.
Sure, there's plenty of unissued stuff out there that would probably
sell in decent numbers, but there's so much more, including much of
the vinyl and shellac on collectors' shelves, that might
realistically sell fewer than 100 copies worldwide. That might be
enough for some offshore shovelware producer to crank out a CD copied
from old LPs or 78s with no quality control, but it's probably not
enough for Sony, EMI or some other major archive to find the master,
perform a good transfer, and make a new digital master.
There's a reason that quality reissue labels like Mosaic and Bear
Family charge a lot more than the shovelware packages.