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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Depressing stats for fans of recorded music and fans of physical product

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:06:35 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

Hi Jim:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/digital-music-sales-overtake-cds-for-first-time-1429034467

may require a WSJ subscription for full access. You can try searching google using this term:
"Music Services Overtake CDs for First Time site:wsj.com"
without the quote marks around it of course. That should provide a link to the 
free-for-google-searchers version.

Check out the user comments. This one stood out:
"I haven't bought a CD in what seems like a decade. Frankly, I'd forgotten about them until I saw 
some the other day in Best Buy. It's so easy now to just download from iTunes that I don't see any 
need for CDs anymore. And with apps like Shazam, you can hear a great new song, identify it with 
Shazam, download it from iTunes with a one-click and be on your way literally a couple of minutes 
after you first heard the song. There's no way CD sellers can compete with that type of convenience.

CDs are going the way of the 8 track and fast."

I would say that comment comes from a person in their 20's or 30's, and is probably typical. At 
least the commenter says he buys downloads rather than steals, which actually probably makes him 
typical of young employed adults (I think many kids grow out of stealing when they get an adult life 
and have some spending money, and it take so much less time to drop a dollar at iTunes than to find 
a bittorrent stream that works and doesn't virus-infect your computer). He's probably going to 
transition into a streaming consumer as new devices do away with hard drives and local storage. 
Apple already allows one to keep their iTunes library in "the cloud" and stream it to Apple devices. 
But, why pay $1/song when Spotify is free? For the consumer, the choice is pretty clear if they 
don't care about physical items and don't really care about sound quality (Spotify is certainly 
"good enough" in urban areas with robust 4G service, about on par with highly-processed FM radio, 
better than satellite radio, to my ears). The problem is, the record companies stupidly signed deals 
with the streamers where they get 1 cent on the dollar vs. downloads. There won't be enough 
streaming traffic to make up the revenue gap, so it's possible the grim figures reported in my 
original post will decline by another magnitude in the coming years.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Sam" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2015 2:33 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Depressing stats for fans of recorded music and fans of physical product


> Tom, do you have a link to the WSJ article?
>
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 6:36 PM, Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Oddly enough, I think I’m buying more now than I have in quite some time,
>> primarily because excellent quality is being combined with very low cost.
>> Just take a look at the MLP sets and the Callas EMI set. These are treasure
>> troves of quality recordings at bargain basement prices! And I’m also just
>> 3 months shy of Medicare age.
>>
>> But it always has been my belief that it was the young that drive music
>> sales: a new generation creating and listening to new music. But as others
>> have mentioned, for reasons more numerous/complex to state here, exciting
>> new music has not arrived on the scene for quite some time. The 1920s had
>> jazz, the 1930s had swing, the 1940s had the war and Sinatra, 1950s had
>> Elvis and Rock n Roll, the 1960s had The Beatles. And then we started to
>> see the decline until we hit Rap which is talking to a beat. And what since
>> then? Where is the motivation *to* by music.
>>
>> In addition, the young have decided on how they want to consume (i.e.,
>> listen to) their music. Their’s is a virtual world. All is
>> digital/electronic, nothing analog or physical. Here in San Francisco, I
>> interact with this new generation all the time: they carry no money, they
>> carry no books, they carry no music. It’s all cloud based and that’s partly
>> by desire and partly by necessity. In San Francisco a 295-square-foot condo
>> just sold for $415K, 39% over asking. Where you gonna store *any* CDs when
>> all you have room for is a mini-fridge and a Murphy bed??
>>
>> Yes, there are the reactionaries that hunt for vinyl. But they make up a
>> microcosm of the new generation of music listeners.
>>
>> DrG
>>
>> > On Apr 15, 2015, at 12:37 PM, Louis Hone <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Tom
>> >
>> > Interesting point you bring up. I see two factors related to this
>> decline:
>> >
>> >
>> > Louis
>> >
>> > On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Reported in today's Wall Street Journal, with an equally depressing
>> >> graphic:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> 5. Net-net, phyiscal media is now about 45% of total music sales, and
>> >> still losing ground. Streaming/subscription is the growth area.
>> Downloads
>> >> are also sliding. The world of artwork, physical product and ownership
>> of
>> >> one's purchased music is slipping away. Furthermore, recorded music
>> appears
>> >> to be of declining value to an increasing world population with
>> increased
>> >> spending power.
>> >>
>>
>
> 

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