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Hi Jay:

We keep hearing pundits and prognosticators talk about the "coming end of physical media," but as 
you say the record companies keep cranking out CDs. As far as I know Sony, and maybe other record 
companies, still own and operate CD manufacturing plants, so it may be in their interest to keep CDs 
going at least until plants and equipment are well amortized.

Also, can anyone point to a musician or group that garnered tremendous radio play and/or 
record-music sales WITHOUT a CD release? Yes, you can break through with a song made in your 
basement and placed on YouTube, and you may sell a few thousand downloads DIY'ing it through iTunes 
(and make a few thousand pennies on the deal), but I think you still need physical media for mass 
market penetration. I may be wrong on that, but I'd like to hear some specific facts and examples 
that prove me wrong.

Now here's what's changed. If you're Led Zeppelin in the late 1990s, you get together with a 
remastering engineer, comb your vaults and maybe put out "Anniversary Edition" multi-CD sets with 
some studio out-takes and some new artwork. You could count on brisk sales, because the first CD 
edition of your albums probably sounded like garbage and probably wasn't cut from the 
first-generation master tape.  Fast forward to 2014, and you can't just do a CD release. You need to 
go multi-media:
http://www.ledzeppelin.com/buy/
I think it's called "multi-platform" nowadays. At multiple price points, with multiple content 
configurations. There is a download component, but notice that it's in the background with the 
marketing. Physical products are still front and center.

What I'm not so sure about is, how does this all play out with less-mainstream (ie slower-selling) 
artists and genres. In classical and jazz, the strategy in recent years has been to stick with CDs 
but greatly reduce the price-per-disc of content. So you have, for instance, the Mercury and Decca 
and RCA box sets selling for less than $2 per disc, vs. more than $10 per disc when the material was 
originally released in single-disc format. At these price points, forget about margin for deluxe 
remastering like Led Zep can do. The most popular classical and jazz titles, the ones proven popular 
over time and the rare break-out "hit" of more recent vintage, do present a business model enabling 
high-resolution mastering and multi-format sales.

I know from experience that these record companies watch the money like hawks, and if something is 
out of print or hasn't been remastered since the dawn of CDs, it's because their previous sales 
figures and future sales projections tell them it won't be profitable to go any further with that 
content. Sometimes, there is a niche player like a 3rd party vinyl reissuer, who can make hay with 
specific titles ignored by the parent company, but these are exceptions to the rule.

Long and short, I think you'll be selling CDs well into old age, but it's entirely possible that the 
universe of available content on CD will shrink over time.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Music Hunter" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [MLA-L] RE: the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD player)?


> Hi Tom & friends,
>
>
>
> Is there any evidence pointing to that happening?
>
>
>
> I am still enjoying CDs obtained when CDs were first introduced in the early
> '80's with no sign of self-degrading in over 30 years. I'm trying to think
> of what other products we have that have that still work as well as they did
> when brand new.
>
>
>
> Talk about value...
>
>
>
> Jay
>
>
>
> Your search for sound & video ends here!
>
> Jay Sonin, General Manager
> Music Hunter Distributing Company
> 4880 North Citation Drive, Suite # 101
> Delray Beach, Florida 33445-6552
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> 561-450-7152
>
>
>
> From: Stephen Thomson Moore [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 7:33 AM
> To: Wagstaff, D John; Edmonds, Amy; [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [MLA-L] RE: the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD
> player)?
>
>
>
> Dear all,
>
>
>
> Another concern with the end of the CD and DVD seems to be that our immense
> collections of Cds will self-degrade and be nothing more than shiny discs in
> a few short years. What about that?
>
>
>
> Best, Tom Moore
>
> FIU
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> From: <Wagstaff>, D John <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: "Wagstaff, D John" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014 5:54 PM
> To: "Edmonds, Amy" <[log in to unmask]>, "[log in to unmask]"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [MLA-L] RE: the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD player)?
>
>
>
> I think maybe the issue is that, once we reach a tipping point with e-books,
> the publishers might decide to move to an I-Tunes account-type distribution
> model, i.e. a "one individual/one account, no libraries need apply thank you
> very much have a nice day but get lost". We're already seeing this with some
> textbooks, after all. Print surrogates will then become impossible to
> obtain, libraries are cut out of the equation, and first-sale doctrine is
> sacrificed to licensing agreements.
>
>
>
> I don't write this in a "the-publisher-is-the-enemy" spirit, they clearly
> are only trying to make money and keep their businesses afloat, and arguably
> if the roles were reversed we'd be doing the same. But I suspect that that's
> definitely the commercial motivation behind the push towards e-books.
>
>
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
> John Wagstaff
>
> Head, Music & Performing Arts Library
>
> Interim Head, Literatures and Languages Library
>
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
>
> 1114 W. Nevada Street
>
> Urbana IL61801
>
> Tel. 217-244-4070
>
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> From: Edmonds, Amy [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:40 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [MLA-L] RE: the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD player)?
>
>
>
> The same thing that makes it easy to crank out e-books makes it easy to
> publish in paper!  Why are they whining?
>
>
>
> I do read quite a bit on my kindle but for anything that I will be working
> with intellectually, I have to be able to put my sticky notes in it (shhh!)
> and flip through the pages at will for the bits that I will recognize
> visually but can't remember well enough to do a good search on a device.
>
>
>
> From: Wagstaff, D John [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 5:09 PM
> To: Stephen Thomson Moore; [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [MLA-L] RE: the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD player)?
>
>
>
> To answer this question I'd pose another, which is: For how many years have
> we been seeing magazines with the question "Is this the year of the e-book?"
> on their cover? (my answer: at least 15, and my answer is always "no"). In
> spite of publishers really, really wanting to push e-books, we're still a
> long way from having anything like a decent amount of e-books to offer in
> the performing arts.
>
>
>
> IMHO.
>
>
>
> John
>
>
>
> From: Stephen Thomson Moore [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:09 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [MLA-L] the end of the CD and DVD (and the CD and DVD player)?
>
>
>
> Dear CW,
>
>
>
> Have you all seen any responsible prognostication on what the time frame
> might be for the end of CD as a commercial format for music, and of the DVD
> as a commercial format for video? Do you individually have any wise words in
> this regard? I already heard in 1995 that the CD would soon be history (not
> yet).
>
>
>
> Inquiringly, Tom Moore
>
> FIU
>
>
>
>
>
>