The only kind of music "rental" model that may work, if it's priced very cheap, is all-you-can-eat
with very large libraries of choices and working across all devices. Spotify and the like are the
pioneers there. I can't see how the music companies make money letting those services have access to
their libraries, but it seems inevitable that a large amount of music consumption will go that way.
The only thing worse-sounding than 128kbps MP3 is streaming Spotify and Pandora.
The major difference between movies and music is that movies are a fully emersive experience and
there are always people willing to pay premium prices for that experience. Especially for the
younger generation, music is background noise at commodity prices or stolen for no price.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy A. Riddle" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 8:42 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [MLA-L] Future of CDs
> On the overall market for the cd and what the future could hold, it might
> be instructive to look at what's happening with the movie industry right
> Currently, the studios are moving towards streaming and download models as
> they see sales of physical discs decline and fewer retail outlets to carry
> them. Screen Archives Entertainment has been licensing older films for
> release on blu-ray from the studios in limited editions of 3,000 copies -
> basically, the studio has a hi-def master, but doesn't think they can sell
> enough copies to justify pressing a run of the discs.
> In general, the new release of older catalogue titles has stopped on dvd,
> replaced by moving the titles to "manufacture on demand". The older titles
> released on blu-ray have been limited to some of the "big name" classics or
> films featuring specific stars that the studios know they can generate
> volume on and get in retail outlets like Walmart.
> Warners hopes to have pretty much every catalogue title they own available
> on MOD eventually. At the same time, they're selling digital download
> versions of the films on sites like Vudu and offering a monthly streaming
> Of course, with MOD, you're paying more for catalogue titles and getting a
> "burned" disc that will probably not be as stable in the long run as a
> pressed disc.
> Smaller "indie" and art house distributors are still pressing dvds, but
> some smaller restoration projects are going the MOD route since the
> audience is fairly small and its difficult to predict how well they will
> My guess is that the first record label to offer a MOD service for out of
> print or catalogue titles will set off a trend where older albums are taken
> out of print on pressed compact discs, similar to what's happening with the
> movie studios, and only new popular releases or major "star" reissues that
> can generate volume get a press run.
> Younger listeners aren't buying physical product as much and are moving to
> online downloads or streaming. Eventually, physical media will become a
> kind of "niche" product - the real question is how long will it be before
> pressing plants start shutting down so that pressing a cd becomes a more
> expensive "boutique" proposition.
> A similar thing has happened with the lp. It never really "died", but has
> continued as a specialty product. It's not as cheap as it was in the 80s
> to press up a run of lps - there are fewer pressing plants handling much
> less volume - and represents a small part of the overall music market.
> Randy A. Riddle
> [log in to unmask]