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Can Music Survive Inside the Big Box?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the help-help-i-need-to-escape dept.

Music 90

_randy_64 writes "In a story that ties in nicely with a recent discussion about the possible reprieve for Net Radio, the Wall Street Journal asks Can Music Survive Inside the Big Box? The article discusses how the 'big box' stores (e.g. Wal-Mart, Best Buy) are cutting back on space and acceptance of music CDs. With 85% of music sales still coming from CDs, maybe this is another thing to push the music industry towards better online sales models? 'Thanks largely to aggressive pricing and advertising, big-box chains are now responsible in the U.S. for at least 65% of music sales (including online and physical recordings), according to estimates by distribution executives, up from 20% a decade ago. Where a store that depends on CDs for the bulk of its sales needs a profit margin of around 30%, big chains get by making just 14% on music, say label executives who handle distribution. One of these executives describes the shift as a tidal wave.'"

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90 comments

In COMPLETELY unrelated news... (3, Funny)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908359)

...the RIAA has its next round of lawsuits scaled to the amount of shelf space they're given.

Re:In COMPLETELY unrelated news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908803)

The day the music died (simplified, in the spirit of Don McLean) was the day Shawn Fanning released Napster. OK, maybe it was inevitable... if Shawn took his father's advice and studied hard for law school, and I just made that up, something similar would've come out from someone else. Then THAT would've been the day the music died because the much of the "greed" incentive went out the window.

Yeah, greed ain't pretty, but it can produce some spectacularly creative results. Take a look at the first 25 years of rock music for example.

Blaming the RIAA for the recent decline is ridiculous, they were just reacting in a slow and predictable fashion. Not saying they had a clue but if you want to blame someone you should point the finger at all the people lifting tunes who should've been paying for them. In other words, the people posting here. And nobody stepped forward to point out that the golden goose was being destroyed, or if they did, they were ignored or modded -1, flamebait and never heard from again.

The RIAA is just a scapegoat.

Re:In COMPLETELY unrelated news... (3, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908853)

Actually, all the evidence so far has seemed to show that people who are "lifting" all the "tunes" actually BUY more of it than the people who don't. Or maybe they're all just a bunch of whining bitches because they're making more money than they've ever made in the past.

Re:In COMPLETELY unrelated news... (2, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909309)

The day the music died (simplified, in the spirit of Don McLean) was the day Shawn Fanning released Napster.

The only music which died that day was commercial pop.

Real music was set free the day Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev ported AMP to Windows and created Winamp. The descendants of those they emancipated are growing up fast, and it won't be long before there's more music out of the box than in.

The result will be more music and better music.

I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those people dance,
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

Music might survive if ... (4, Insightful)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908377)

Big box retailers are interested in volume and marginal pricing. The range of music they pick, the bands that get prominent shelf space and the albums that appear in the advertising will all be driven by the bottom line.

No - if we want diverse musical forms to survive the big box stores, it will be despite them, not because of them.

Small dealers will help - but at best they can only provide small niche markets. Internet sites tied to such retailers may help a lot. For me though, the future of diverse music depends on the internet providing the resources to find out about less known bands and albums [last.fm] and hear stuff I can't hear on the radio [radioparadise.com] . But right now, the Internet Radio station is on the brink of an extinction event. So support Save Net Radio [savenetradio.org] before it really is too late.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:Music might survive if ... (2, Interesting)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912723)

Big box retailers are interested in volume and marginal pricing. The range of music they pick, the bands that get prominent shelf space and the albums that appear in the advertising will all be driven by the bottom line.

No - if we want diverse musical forms to survive the big box stores, it will be despite them, not because of them.
Unless the big box retailers set up kiosks or some such system to sell the long tail. They can record a CD on the spot, just as easily as they can make photo CD's.

The trick is finding what you like in the first place. The usual systems are friends, internet, and radio. We will always have friendly word of mouth, and the internet is a great resouce that we didn't have a couple of decades ago. Not only does it enhance word of mouth, it allows bands and fans to expose music, taking over the main role of commercial radio. It is better at that anyway, since obscure bands with hardworking and loyal fans can get exposure without the cooperation of the traditional recording industry. Of course, I haven't listened to commercial radio since the 70's. My radio buttons are all set on NPR, college stataions, and a station with decent traffic reporting.

Re:Music might survive if ... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912791)

I still buy exclusively CDs for my music needs, and I will be doing so until there is a better quality option available. One that allows me to put the music on any number of computers and players. One that isn't of inferior quality and of questionable durability.

I hear a lot of people talking about CDs being dead, and I don't agree. I think that you are really on the right track when you suggest that it is the big box stores that are the biggest source of problems aside from iTunes and the industry itself.

The majority of the CDs I own are albums. Meaning that they contain a set of songs arranged to create an experience. Some of them are concept albums like Desperado with tracks running into each other. ITunes and there ilk are probably as bad as big box stores in that they really do a good job of rewarding groups that are lazy enough to only put a couple good tracks on the disc if even that.

I personally get all my CDs from online discounters and indie labels. Quite a bit cheaper, and in some cases the quality of a $300 recording is indeed better than anything that the major labels have put out. To say that CDs are dead is totally wrong, when the problem is that the people aren't often able to access the quality music from a big box store.

I dont think it really matters (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908381)

Personally I think part of the problem big box retailers have is that carrying music requires a finger on the pulse of what is relevant. Nowadays, with so many one hit or one album for a week wonders, that isnt possible for most big retailers (that havent seemed to have caught on to the volatility of the music scene). The smaller music only shops have a much better chance here as they can "specialize" in what's relevant instead of what the industry tells them is relevant (that is then stocked in palette-fulls).

So, no I dont think big box retailers will remain relevant in the music selling industry - even if they go online (against competition such as iTunes and numerous others), and no I dont think it matters anyway. It is quite rare I buy any CD from a big box retailer such as the ones listed just due to the lack of relevance of what they usually carry.

Re:I dont think it really matters (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908449)

But if big box retailers are selling so much music, surely they can hire some people who are able to keep up with the scene and recommend what's hot and what's not. However, I think there's some other issues with the big box model. Big box stores like to buy millions of (insert item here), ship it across the entire country, and sell it to everybody. The problem with music, is that tastes vary across the country. What's selling in Los Angeles this week may not sell at all in New York, Miami, or Colorado. It also means a lot of liability when the album isn't as popular as expected. It's easy to offload some laundry detergent by slashing prices, a lot of people aren't very particular about which brand they get, but with music, if people don't want to listen to it, then slashing prices won't help at all.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908531)

Agreed... but large corporations seem very slow to do this, or very unwilling to make the expenditure. It seems to be the one area of retail where big box retailers dont have buyers assigned to monitor such things. And as you said, it needs to be on an area by area basis - which adds more to the costs of selling the CDs... perhaps that is part of the reason why they don't. It is easy for a local music store chain to specialize in their market tastes because most likely, all their stores fit the same demographic (as it is a local music chain - or individual music store)... but the listening demographic varies wildly when it comes to a national chain.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908577)

But if music stores like HMV, Music World, and Sam the Record Man (Sorry, don't know any US Chains) can manage to sell music and stay relevant across the entire country, why can't big box retailers employ the same methods? I don't think they should let a market with so much cashflow slip through their fingers because it doesn't fit the same sales model as most of their other products do.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908675)

Because thats all they do maybe... one set of buyers, one set of goals, one set of buyers that are specializing in one product and one product only (namely music). Just a guess... I doubt the likes of you or I will know how a corporation so large (as a Walmart) actually does these things... but it is fun to speculate - especially in the light of success by even some of the larger music only chains.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909041)

The US chains have had a harder time staying relevant. Didn't you hear that Tower Records went bankrupt? That was one of the biggest.
The only music chain I see advertised much now is FYE.
Or do chain bookstores with music departments count?

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908779)

they can hire some people who are able to keep up with the scene and recommend what's hot and what's not

Ummm well that sounds great in theory, but in practice the big box stores employ minimum-wage minimum-IQ staff who really don't want to be there in the first place. When your take-home pay is $200 a week, it's hard to stay up to date on all the latest music purchases. It's also hard to sell the idea to corporate that employing a stereotypical record store geek could possibly improve the bottom line considering the slim profits on CD sales.

It goes like this: if you want smart, personal service, go to a good indie store, pay an extra dollar or two per album for the added value. Most shops will let you audition an album before buying, and will know their merchandise rather well. If you visit them regularly, they might actually learn your favorites and recommend a lesser-known artist you'll enjoy. The kid at Big Box Inc won't even remember your face after you turn around, and he's just trained to sell whatever's popular. He has no interest in getting what you want, his job is about selling what they store wants you to buy.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909131)

Ummm well that sounds great in theory, but in practice the big box stores employ minimum-wage minimum-IQ staff who really don't want to be there in the first place. When your take-home pay is $200 a week, it's hard to stay up to date on all the latest music purchases.

The checkers and stock boys don't make the purchasing decisions. Even the local store managers have only a certain amount of input. These decisions are made at the corporate level, where there are a lot of bright, and well-compensated, people.

Of course, that still doesn't mean that the big-box stores will actually bother to invest in people who can do a good job of picking what music to buy.

Your point isn't relevant to the purchasing decisions, it's relevant to the sort of recommendations you might get if you walk into the big-box store and ask for recommendations. The small shop will almost certainly earn their premium price if you're doing that.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909323)

Ummm well that sounds great in theory, but in practice the big box stores employ minimum-wage minimum-IQ staff who really don't want to be there in the first place.

You mean drummers, right?

Re:I dont think it really matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909407)

That reminds me of a joke...

Q: What do you call someone who follows the band around, hangs out with them, tries to talk to the musicians like they care, wants to be like one of them..?

A: The Drummer

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909637)

Another one...


How can you tell when the stage is level?

Drool is coming out of both sides of the drummer's mouth.

Re:I dont think it really matters (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912819)

A third to finish it off:

Q: What do you do when a drummer knocks on your door?

A: Pay for the pizza.

Re:I dont think it really matters (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909469)

Personally I think part of the problem big box retailers have is that carrying music requires a finger on the pulse of what is relevant. Nowadays, with so many one hit or one album for a week wonders, that isnt possible for most big retailers (that havent seemed to have caught on to the volatility of the music scene).

The big box retailers have buyers who do indeed keep up with music, but on a more regional level. They have lots of other problems to overcome, too:

  • Lead time: it can take 13 weeks or more for a buying decision to result in new products on the shelves. 13 weeks is the antithesis of volatility, but it's the result of the heavyweight distribution chain process. Once the buying decision is made, the order is placed, the product is manufactured in China, it's put on a boat to L.A., it sits on a dock awaiting customs, it's trucked to a packager and custom packaged (anti-theft labels and/or big plastic don't-steal-me frames), it's trucked to a store's distribution center, it's sorted and put on trucks bound for stores, received in the store and eventually placed on the shelf. If the timing is carelessly handled in those 13 weeks a band can disappear off the radio, leaving you with crappy inventory that you've got to mark down and sell at a loss.
  • When you buy for 1000 stores, you have to purchase in large quantities so every store gets stock. Small labels without high production capacity are at a disadvantage. Labels don't pay to keep 100,000 copies of "Childish Intentions" in a warehouse hoping that some big-box store will buy them, they are manufactured only when an order is placed.
  • Shelf space is at a premium. Whatever department you purchase for, you are responsible for maintaining the corporate average in sales-per-square-foot. Slip to the bottom of that pile and you're looking for a new job, so taking risks has to be compensated for by having lots of popular artists that are reliable sales. That means lots of music that sounds just like you've already heard before, performed by bands that already sell discs.
  • Finding artists that are popular across a wide geographically diverse audience. Big box retailers are divided into regions. As you indicated, with a thousand stores no buyer take the pulse of a thousand individual music scenes, so they aim for the center of their region. Ship lots of country and western to the southeast, maybe more grunge to the northwest, or whatever the sales trends indicate.
  • Price pressure (aka the "Walmart Effect") means that no big box is going to pay $11.00 wholesale for a disk to list at $12.00. A small band or label may not be able to manufacture and ship discs for less than $5.00 each, but a big-box may not be willing to pay more than that.

So in a perverse twist of fate, the 13 week lead time of the big box buyers can end up *driving* the Billboard charts. The record labels ship all their new albums out to the big-box buyers. The buyers make their decisions based on what they think will sell, and manufacturing ramps up. Meanwhile, the labels look at the orders for whatever discs they just sold, and plan to ship promo copies to the radio stations to coincide with the arrival of the product on store shelves. 13 weeks after a corporate buyer says "I think this will sell", you hear it on the radio.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the buyers at the big-box retailers do indeed care about their music, but they are expected to make profitable choices, and that means they have to limit the amount of "risky" or "experimental" music they offer.

The day the CD died (0, Troll)

Ayal.Rosenthal (1070472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908429)

CDs were put on their deathbed on November 10, 2001 - the release date of a stainless-steel digital music player lovingly called iPod.

Re:The day the CD died (-1, Flamebait)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908479)

Except for the thousands of us that refuse to buy that over-priced piece of Apple trash.

Re:The day the CD died (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908491)

I've been hearing a lot of sensationalist stories lately about the death of music. Mostly because CD sales are falling [www.ctv.ca] . Maybe the large production companies will go away, but people have been making music long before the music producers, and they will be making music long after they are gone. Music isn't going anywhere. I've started listening to a lot of independant music lately, and it's a lot better than most of the mass produced big label bands. Granted I still like many big label bands, but I don't think I'd be starved for quality music if there was no big labels.

Re:The day the CD died (2, Interesting)

Ayal.Rosenthal (1070472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908573)

You know something, I completely agree with you. I think that myspace, as it was initially used, has helped music adopt to the technological change of distribution and much of what I listen to now is from semi-successful bands that will probably never sell in Wal-Mart (plug for my buddies at Classic Case). I'm not sad to see CDs go away, just like I'm not sad to see DVDs go away for video-on-demand. Music will still be here and probably in greater quantity and equal quality as production and distribution costs continue to decrease.

CD pricing (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908437)

FTA"Music has become a commoditized item," he says. "The CD is perceived by the consumer to be a $10 item, and the manufacturers continue to release new titles at $15 to $18.98." To remedy that situation, he says he has urged labels to move to a "paperback-book model," with no-frills packages priced cheaply for most customers, and more deluxe presentations for die-hard fans."

I think the CD is a $1-3 item, because there are usually only that many songs worth buying. So I buy those 1-3 songs. Music has become commoditized, because there are few "whole works" kind of albums (ie Pink Floyd:The Wall, Holst:The Planets) more just one or two hits and some filler. but we've all said this before.

Re:CD pricing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908485)

is your mom a $3 item? Pussy, ass, and mouth.

Re:CD pricing (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908515)

I wonder where the concept of album has gone. A lot of albums you see are just a bunch of songs that don't even go that well together, and just seem mashed together. I wish more bands would put out more albums worth listening to as albums, such as The Wall. Also, I wonder if there's any bands that we're still going to be listening to in 40 years, like we're still listening to Pink Floyd, The Beatles, CCR, and the Rolling Stones. Can anybody name a popular band in the last 5 years that they think they are going to be listening to in 10 years time? what about 50 years?

Re:CD pricing (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908561)

"Can anybody name a popular band in the last 5 years that they think they are going to be listening to in 10 years time? what about 50 years?"

A Silver Mount Zion, but in 50 yrs i will most probably be dead. ( and they are not really 'popular' )

Re:CD pricing (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908597)

Exactly. I listen to some bands that I think I will still be listening to in 50 years (and I plan to still be alive then). But they aren't what I'd call popular bands. I can't think of any popular bands that People listen to for more than 1 year after the release of their last album.

Stuck in the groove (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909007)

All the radio stations in Canada are playing mostly 30 to 40 year old stuff and the only bands that are popular are bands that make new music that sounds exactly like the old stuff. Most of the new music is unpalatable crap that no-one wants to listen to.

In the USA, radio stations are paid to play what the RIAA feeds them. Every few years they are fined hundreds of millions of dollars by the FTC, but that is no deterrent. It makes me wonder what Americans listen to, since I can't believe that they listen to their radio...

BTW, I just bought a nice new 2007 rock CD 'Embrace the Curse' by a band called 'I Hate Kate' (http://www.myspace.com/ihatekate). They make nice Rock music that sounds almost exactly but not quite unlike something from about 1975, but they claim to be 'alternative'. I guess it is a good 'Alternative' to 'Rap'...

Re:Stuck in the groove (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909803)

Some American stations play mostly songs from the 1960s and 1970s. Or else 1970s and 1980s.
When one company owns half the radio stations in the city, which happens a lot in America, it makes sense that not all those stations have the same format. So, you get one or two "oldies" stations, several stations that play a mix of "oldies" and contemporary music in various genres, and several all-contemporary stations (in various genres) that advertise themselves as being hip.
The labels know they aren't going to win the older generations over to much of the newer music. They can live with it if they must. They did in the '60s...

Re:CD pricing (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909263)

I think the already-released Smashing Pumpkins albums will be relevant for 10 years at least. They just got back together, so there might be even more relevant music.

It's too hard to predict what people will listen to in 50 years, but it's hard to believe that it some of today's pop won't make it. If I could, I'd buy some posters and T-shirts cheap and sell them at outrageous prices to collectors in 50 years.

Re:CD pricing (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909523)

I can guarantee that I'll still be listening to Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings, to name two, as long as I'm listening to music. There is a tremendous amount of real music, made by real musicians, for for people who appreciate music, but you won't find it on the radio (well, maybe on satellite), and you probably won't find it in the bog box stores (especially now that Tower Records is gone).

Re:CD pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909701)

I'm pretty sure I will be listening to "Radiohead" and "The Flaming Lips" untill I die of old age. They definatley make albums to be albums, not just a collection of songs. These are just a couple examples off the top of my head, there are many more.

You people need to realize that nobody on the top40 is intersted in making an album... they arn't even "artists" they're just pop-icons made possible by a huge amount of advertising.

Re:CD pricing (1)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910779)

"Can anybody name a popular band in the last 5 years that they think they are going to be listening to in 10 years time? what about 50 years?"

Well of course. I'd say Wilco, The Flaming Lips, and Outcast are 3 popular bands that both put out true 'albums' and will certainly still be listenable in 10 years.

I think maybe your just dating yourself!

Re:CD pricing (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908523)

If there is only one to three songs worth listening to on the album, there's not really much point in even knowing of the band's existence. Besides, I liked Animals more than The Wall ;)

Re:CD pricing (0, Offtopic)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908545)

Sinner.

Re:CD pricing (0, Offtopic)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908745)

It was all downhill after Meddle.

Re:CD pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908845)

If the artists you listen to release albums with only 1-3 songs worth listening to, you are listening to the wrong music. There are plenty of modern releases with no filler. Hint: you won't find said music on the radio, so look elsewhere.

Apple section? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908483)

Neither the blurb nor the article contain the word "apple".

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18908487)

Music just alienates people from each other and the world around them. TURN OFF your music player. TURN ON your mind.

Re:Who cares? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908579)

They're not obsessed with the music. They're obsessed with the music industry. There is some irrational fear that there will be no music without an industry. I find the whole thing very bizarre. But, that's show business.

Re:Who cares? (1)

dotfile (536191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908775)

It's not *music* that does this. It's the *people* who choose to disconnect from those around them and isolate themselves from the world. In my experience music does more to draw people closer. The iPod/MP3 player != music.

Record Store Survival (3, Insightful)

zrobotics (760688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908499)

The problem is that big-box retailers are a terribly convenient way to purchase music for most people. If they don't have a lot of emotional investment in what they listen to. I'm not implying that they're shallow, or sheeples. I'm just saying that its just music to them, not a personal affirmation of identity. If they just listen to top-40 hit radio, then any song they're exposed to will certainly be available at the nearest Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart. The people who care enough about musical diversity to be angry about this will still seek out new music from record stores, online, friends, etc. TFA seems to claim that big-box retailers will destroy musical diversity. This is giving them far too much credit. As long as there are people who care enough, new indendent music will be created. It may not be what the masses listen to, but this isn't always a bad thing. Top-40 radio has become what it currently is because of how many people listen to it. It is run by large corporations that, because of their size, are inherently conservative. These corporations would prefer to distribute music that won't disturb the status quo. Smaller, independent music isn't restrained by these conditions; however, it would be provided it became popular enough.

Simply put, people who care enough will seek out new music from alternate sources; either to pander to their sense of individuality or through another social/politial motivation. People without this emotional/politial investment will seek out new music from a more convenient source such as big box retailers. This may be through laziness, or due to caring more about other things. In the end, neither side loses much, and capitalism is served.

Re:Record Store Survival (0)

poliopteragriseoapte (973295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909391)

Mod parent up!

Re:Record Store Survival (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18917257)

As somebody once said, most people don't actually like music, but they do like the way it sounds. This means that they're not into actually *listening* to the music, but just want that pleasant noise buzzing on their iPod as they work or oozing out of the radio while they iron or summat.

It's also helpful in this debate about the decline of music in the retail sector that music itself is facing stiff competition from DVDs (mum and dad didn't buy that cheesy plastic 5.1 surround sound home theatre in a box kit to sit around and gather dust) and of course video games, as well as the internet (chatting, online socialising til all hours, etc.).

Cheers

It all depends on the name on the box. (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908513)

If the name is Schrödinger, we won't know if music survives until we open the box to find out.

Music in a box (3, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908551)

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box
Step 2: Put the music in a box
Step 3: Make her open the box!

Re:Music in a box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18910083)

And thats just the way it is!

Music Kiosks (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908553)

Why not set up music kiosks where there is a server on the premises that stores music or can retreive music from other databases and then let the customer burn their own cd on the spot.

Or you leave a list of music you want at the store and pick up your custom made cd in a couple of hours or the next day.

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908617)

If you're just going to get a burned CD, why not download the music and burn it yourself? I don't see how having to leave the house to pick up the CD is any more convenient.

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908683)

Because I don't wanna sit in the house and waste my time downloading. Same reason I'd rather spend a few $ at a pawnshop searching for cd's then wast my time sitting on the computer downloading shit.

Babysitting PCs ? (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909033)

Yeah because you need to be in the PC while the download happens.

It is absolutely impossible with current technology to start downloading something and go away and do something else. Sure.

Shitty argument.

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

sabersaw5 (927364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18908837)

Best Buy has this kind of setup

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909687)

Why bother when you can buy it online?

These days, buying bits pressed or burned into a plastic disk is absurd. It's almost as silly as buying water in plastic bottles and shlepping it home from the grocery store when nearly everyone in the industrialized world has potable running water in their home.

-jcr

Re:Music Kiosks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18911543)

Unless the town you live in has decided that saving money is more important than the health of it's residents.

Notes from my town sent out in the past two years regarding our water:

First year: One of our seven wells exceeds the allowed limits (by far) for Radium... we're treating it, don't worry.

Second year: Remember that well from last year with the high Radium levels? Guess what? Now it's exceeding the allowed levels for Barium! But don't worry, the same treatments that we use for the radium also work on Barium... so we're actually already treating this problem!

Umm... if the treatment you've been using for the past year is supposed to reduce the barium levels... why are they now above the allowed limits (which they apparently weren't last year)... my suggestion: STOP USING THAT WELL!

Believe it or not, everything is not black and white. What comes out of your faucet may be called 'potable', but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe for long term consumption... and this is in a pretty affluent area, I don't even want to know how bad the drinking water is in other areas where the testing & reporting process is less effective (if it exists at all).

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912421)

That's actually a fairly apt comparison, legality aside. Some people would rather go and spend money on something of arguably better quality when there's something in the home that's nearly as good, if not just as good. And those people pretend they can tell the difference between good tap water and bottled water, or between a 320kbps mp3 and a CD track. Maybe they can. I can't.

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912587)

CDs are still the only way to legally get most music DRM-free and high quality (at least lossless 16-bit 44.1 kHz audio). Sure, Magnatune exists, and I buy from them, but they're one in a million when it comes to online music stores where you get the choice of format, quality, and price.

Re:Music Kiosks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909733)

This is a great idea... but I want to make sure that the music I get is of the same quality that a CD would be (i.e. full 44.1KHz, 16bit lossless audio, not 128kbps compressed audio from iTunes). Otherwise its just a rip off cuz I could buy it from iTunes!

One other thing: Why don't online stores offer CD iso's for download? That would be sooo much better than downloading mp3's! I payed for your stinking music, why do you have to water it down!?

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909823)

I understand that there are four Starbucks stores that have kiosks.
BTW, is Hear Music an RIAA label, or is it indie?

Re:Music Kiosks (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910533)

How about they just leave a pile of instruments by the front door and you just go and play the stuff yourself for yourself?

If you need to "pick and mix" all of your tracks then, I'm sorry, but you're not listening to good music. Get used to it.

Go research your music better, you *WILL* find music albums in any genre that are *FILLED* with good songs, not just the one or two chart toppers you want for your compilation CDs.

Finding good music is sometimes *HARD* work but it's more than paid off by the great *THRILL* of finding an absolutely fantastic album.

Power grab (1)

fishmasta (827305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909195)

The problem for the labels with this is that they no longer have any power in the relationship with their retailers. Since Wal-mart became the biggest music retailer, they have total control in the relationship. They only have music to drive people into the store anyway (notice how it's always placed near the expensive electronics?). If Wal-mart dropped their music retail, it wouldn't affect them one bit, but it would be disasterous for the record industry.

Tower Records (3, Insightful)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909245)

If the RIAA and associated record companies had an ounce of brains, they would have lobbied the bankruptcy court to allow the chain to keep a good number of stores open. At least they made an attempt to carry a wide assortment of music, especially before the the video department was taking up half the stores.


The problem with Big Box retailers is that they treat everything as a commodity - and music other than the current "hit" is anything but a commodity - someone looking for Tangerine Dream is not likely to pick up the latest Britney Spears album.


Kinda OT, but one of the most heartening thing that Ganz, the creator of Webkinz, did was to specifically not sell to the likes of Stuff*Mart, Target, etc.

Honestly, does it really matter? (1)

Ninety-9 SE-L (1052214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909401)

Here's my take. Music, on a large scale, is already dead. Listen to what the MAJORITY of people who actually BUY CDs are buying and listening to. Fly-by-night rapers, one-hit-wonder pop stars, etc. The true fan's music store has closed shop because of: Walmart, Online sales, Online piracy, but most of all, alienation between the record label and the consumer.

The kind of music Wal-Mart stocks is the kind of music people will buy, the kind of music people will buy is pure crap, and I'm not old my any means at 22, so don't claim I just don't understand music now days. The question is not "WILL music survive Walmart," it's "Will it survive the physical disc, or better yet, will it ever make it to the true fan's ears?" The majority of music I like isn't typically stocked at Walmart or iTunes, and forget about finding a real music store. Here's how you obtain it: Get it from the band's page, get it from internet radio, get it at amazon.com or the like, or just d/l it for free. Three of those methods are either illegal or becoming illegal through the ling hard fight by the RIAA. They're trying so desperately to make sure the bands doesn't communicate directly with the public in any way.

Seriously, I don't really care what Walmart does anymore, get the music you like, get it cheaply and if you really care about the band itself, try supporting them directly without the aid of the recording labels or large chains.

Also, I don't typically believe that CDs only contain 1-3 good songs with filler songs in between...Maybe the music you're buying. It's all about the artist. Many of my CDs are good from start to end, that is, if it's a good band. Sometimes I get albums that are are half good, and the ones where the band's terrible but I happen to like 1 song, I just get that 1 song, it's that easy.

Re:Honestly, does it really matter? (1)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910857)

Here's my take. Music, on a large scale, is already dead. Listen to what the MAJORITY of people who actually BUY CDs are buying and listening to. Fly-by-night rapers, one-hit-wonder pop stars, etc.

Pretty much 98% of modern music and thats from about 1976 to present day is CRAP. The 2% thats left is just barely tolerable. That 2% includes stuff like Hindi music that was in several Ballywood movies or alot of other stuff that gets used in movies like a Greek song that was used in The Wire. There are some talented people finding these gems.

I mostly listen to music from the 50-60's, classical, opera, and that 2% from above.... The rest is just schlock... and rap is not music its noise.

I am not purchasing CD's unless they are down right cheap $5.00 or under.

I don't own an ipod or use itunes.. for one thing its apple, and I can't stand them, and two I am not paying that price for music.

I do have a CD player that plays audio CD's or CD-R's with MP3's.

I will download MP3's from where ever I can find them for free, and thats prety much the only place I am going to look for music. I will only purchase the CD if its no where to be had online.

Any CD I purchase comes mostly from Amazon, unless I find some compilation CD in the bargain aisle at Target or WM.

If you want me to pay for music in MP3 or other digital format then:

1) Price - some where between $0.01 and $0.05/MAX is about what I am willing to pay the present $0.99 is OVERPRICED
2) NO DRM! ! ! GOT IT! NO DRM! - Once I purchase the MP3 that file is mine to do with it as I please be it on 50 computers, or 50 MP3's players or what ever, and YES that INLCUDES if I want to copy it to some one else.

Real music is ALREADY DEAD.

Re:Honestly, does it really matter? (1)

Mr Jazzizle (896331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912623)

Have you tried eMusic?
DRM-free MP3 at usually pretty high bitrage 160-256, 20-30 cents per song

(they have a deal that you get 50 free downloads if you sign up from a referance from a friend, and the friend that sends it also gets 50 free downloads. So, I would be glad to email you so you can get double the songs from the free trial, but either way, I recommend you at least try it out to se N8 they have the music you're looking for)

Re:Honestly, does it really matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18912787)

AND GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!

Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909413)

It can survive in my big box for a long time.

I have gigs and gigs of the stuff.

Don't worry humanity. I'll keep it going through the apocalypse.

Just how many times can you shoot your own foot? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909589)

What many warned about has happened. Music labels sold out to the big retailers, who could sell the CD cheaper then the dedicated music stores. So the dedicated stores lost business, being unable to compete with the big retailers.

Aparently nobody at the music labels noticed that the big retailers stocked a far smaller selection of music.

With the smaller retailers gone, the music selection available to the customers has shrunk. So what happens? The music labels do NOT immidiatly put a ban on big retailers and go down on their hands and knees and bag small retailers to forgive them.

Nope, instead they kowtow even further for the big retailers and reduce the number of albums by limiting wich artists to sign-up.

Big Retailers do what they always do, they squeeze and having learned what sells and what doesn't in their stores limit their selection. This is expected. You may notice that from time to time new flavors are launched for products. Vanilla Cola, white KitKat, etc etc. They are given a space for a while. If it sells, well it gets to keep its space. If it doesn't. It doesn't.

Music was a new product, it was launched big and now it is time to cut out the flavors that don't sell enough.

So even less music is available, leading to fewer sales to customers, leading to the big chains squeezing even harder on their selection.

How is it possible that nobody at the music labels noticed this and flat out refused to sell to the big chains on their terms? It would have been trivial. Walmart refuses to stock "controversial" CD's. So any music label could simply have refused to deal with a retailer who does not agree to stock ALL albums in its catalog. Claim it as a stance against censorship and you would even be seen as the nice guy.

But no, simply bloody minded greed and vision restricted to the next quarter over-ruled common sense and now you got the current mess.

Well, allow me to say just this: HA HA.

Re:Just how many times can you shoot your own foot (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910127)

We are talking about the music labels here, those are the same guys who think they can make a business model out of suing six year old kids... Is this enough explanation.

with such a low mark-up... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910001)

With such a low mark-up, I'm surprised CDs are still as expensive as they are. It indicates there's plenty of room for shaking out more expense and lowering prices further still. If things keep dropping, the recording industry may survive. Hell, if prices can reach $6 or so per CD, I may start buying the damned things again.

Stupid, but ok, fine I'll move to online Music... (0)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910059)

Stupid, but ok, fine I'll move to online Music...

I usually purchase CDs for two reasons, I can rip them where I want and how I want, and I can get the audio quality I want, no iTunes watered down quality if I don't want.

However if we are pushed to an online buying model for the media, I will just make adjustments in life and move on.

I however will not lock myself into a single vendor model, so sorry iTunes, you lost my online business. I would rather choose to use my Zen M if I want. I also like software that doesn't crash every 5 minutes and has wonderful new daily holes via its Quicktime reliance.

So this leaves me with the choice of about 5-10 online music providers, not counting the MS Live video content coming to Vista later this year (think XBox 360 content / IPTV /etc).

Out of the online stores, I, like a lot of individuals will finally bite the bullet and go the Cable cost model, and for 5-15US a month I will do a subscription and have access to virtually ever song ever written.

And besides the copy or sending to friend's issues, isn't actually too bad. And if most of my friends are using a subscription service, I can just forward them the link or name of the song and let them grab the song themselves anyway legally.

I spend the same amout on 1 CD a month, and for that I could have access to millions of songs and reload my MP3 players daily with 1000 new song mixes.

Oh, and since Apple is poo pooing subscriptioin based models, it looks like another reason I won't be an iTunes customer.

Careful who you take to bed... (0)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910523)

I however will not lock myself into a single vendor model, so sorry iTunes, you lost my online business. I would rather choose to use my Zen M if I want. I also like software that doesn't crash every 5 minutes and has wonderful new daily holes via its Quicktime reliance.

I use iTunes, and I use eMusic, and I buy music directly from band websites, and I buy CDs from Amazon, and all of this music plays on any player, including my car's CD player, without DRM. The DRM in iTunes is barely "honor system" quality, everyone knows that, Apple even tells you explicitly how to get rid of it. Using iTunes doesn't lock you in to anything.

And if you're worried about security holes in software, then you better worry about Windows Media Player and Real's music players. All of them use Microsoft's HTML control to display content... and that's been the premier attack vector for malware for the past decade, due to its deliberately insecure and unsecurable "active content" design.

You're refusing to shake hands with someone who's got the flu, then going to bed with an Ebola patient.

Re:Careful who you take to bed... (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910577)

The DRM in iTunes is barely "honor system" quality, everyone knows that, Apple even tells you explicitly how to get rid of it.

Any DRM is bad DRM - so please stop trying to intelligently justify what is blatant Apple fanboi-ism.

And if you're worried about security holes in software,

There's ONE hole in a CD, and that's the one that sits on the spindle.

then you better worry about Windows Media Player and Real's music players.

Non-Apple fanboi != Microsoft fanboi.

VLC Media Player, Mplayer, Xine, etc. etc., all of which play media in a pretty much cross-platform, uncomplicated and open fashion and none of which are allied to either Apple or MS.

Re:Careful who you take to bed... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18920381)

Any DRM is bad DRM

Why, friend, I do not disagree with you, and neither as it happens does Steve Jobs. The DRM in the iTunes store is neither at the instigation of Apple, nor is it a permanent part of the product. Now that the ice has been broken with the EMI deal, Jobs is hoping to get half the music in the uTunes store DRM-free by the end of the year and Apple is actively contacting independants.

But the person I was responding to was arguing in favor of DRM-protected subscription services, so that's what my response was in regards to. I realise that it's popular to take potshots at messages or even parts of messages out of context, but it's really not terribly useful unless you're dealing with people who have problems with long-term memory.

For example:

Non-Apple fanboi != Microsoft fanboi

Since Windows is the only platform Rhapsody runs on, and Real uses Microsoft's inherently insecure HTML control to display what I believe Microsoft is pleased to call "rich content", then it shouldn't be difficult to make the connection that someone who is recommending the use of Rhapsody to avoid the possibility of malware riding on bugs in the Quicktime encapsulation code is, perhaps, not thinking things through. One doesn't have to be any kind of "fanboi" to connect the dots.

There's ONE hole in a CD, and that's the one that sits on the spindle.

Since you apparently don't use Windows, I suspect that's probably true for you, but the original poster would be well advised to beware of CDs that attempt to install backdoors in the OS when mounted.

Apple ? (1)

krouic (460022) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910109)

Apple ? Why is this article put in the Apple section ?
Has "Apple" become another word for "music" at /. ?

No (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910717)

I'm confused here. Are there still people who pays for music on physical media? That's so 1990s!

No need to read the article. Like any physical medium that purely exists to give the impression that you are buying it instead of the information stored on it, CDs as are dying. It's just so much more convenient to download it directly to your computer and mp3-player. Of course this process can (and probably will) take time. But claiming otherwise is to deny reality. The only people buying music on CDs today are doing it either out of guilt, habit, fear of new technology, or lack of knowledge. This isn't going to continue forever.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911437)

Wrong.

From an audiophile point of view, the CD *IS* higher quality than a MP3. Sure, for the average user an MP3 is fine - especially when you are playing it back on PC speakers or a system from a big-box retailer. However, if you have invested in high grade audio components like Classe, B&W, Adcom, etc. it's a waste to play Mp3s through the system instead of a higher quality source. I buy CD's not out of guilt, fear, or whatever you want to call it. I buy them for uncompromised pure sound - if you have a high grade audio system you *can* hear an audible difference.

Re:No (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18917135)

Wrong.

From an audiophile point of view, the CD *IS* higher quality than a MP3.

Ooh, you are an audiophile with golden ears (or at least think you are, and have spent your money on it), but you are still unable to read. Please tell me exactly where I claimed mp3 is better than CD, and you will win this argument.

What I was claiming was that the ability for consumers to download information, is going to kill any market for information stored on physical media. I couldn't care less about whether you want SACD-quality audio, or 32 kbit/s mono mp3. Just as I couldn't care less about whether you prefer Classical or "Hits for Kids". No matter how snobbish you feel about buying Classe instead of Sony, it is not going to refute my argument. So please start acting on your reading comprehension skills before you accuse people of saying things they never even thought of.

And by the way; iTunes let you download songs in Apple lossless format. And you already see rips of SACD spreading around at warez-sites and in various filesharing communities.

Re:No (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18919509)

Just clarify, iTunes lets you rip music to MP3, AAC, and Apple Lossless. You can currently only download music in protected AAC format. (I think Podcasts may be in mp3 format, though I haven't looked into it.)

Re:No (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18919231)

if you have a high grade audio system you *can* hear an audible difference.


That's nice. You're, what, two percent of the market? If that?

In any case, irrelevant. MP3s are enough for the masses, but the only segment not in the path of the digital steamroller is the vinyl freaks. A whole, uncompressed CD can be downloaded in an hour or two even on the slowest broadband connection. Less, if you use a lossless compression on it first. Raw CDs are as easy to send around as MP3s; they're just a little bigger.

Chris mattern

Nice way to stereotype people (1)

pho3nixtar (924810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18917643)

I'm confused here. Are there still people who pays for music on physical media? That's so 1990s!
Yes. Believe it or not, I actually like the insert booklets and other such packaging, along with the music that is included on the disc.

The only people buying music on CDs today are doing it either out of guilt, habit, fear of new technology, or lack of knowledge.
First of all, it's not "guilt" to pay someone for the work they do. It's not habit to go into a store and buy a cd. It may be for some people, but it's not a habit for me. I am also not afraid of new technology, but then again that's almost completely irrelevant to this discussion. Lastly, I'm certainly not suffering from a lack of knowledge. I'm not going to waste time convincing you of anything because you seem pretty enamored of your own opinions. Just letting you know that you're wrong about the reasons why people buy/don't buy cds anymore. For the record, I don't buy many cds anymore because most of the music that's put out these days sucks donkey dung.

Re:Nice way to stereotype people (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18920061)

Yes. Believe it or not, I actually like the insert booklets and other such packaging, along with the music that is included on the disc.

Habit. You're conditioned [wvu.edu] to associate the packaging with the enjoyment of owning and being able to listen to a new piece of music. Newer generations that grow up with mp3s will not have this response. Besides, do you enjoy having to rip it to mp3 before you can transfer it to your mp3-player as well?

First of all, it's not "guilt" to pay someone for the work they do.

Or morale. Or ethics. Or whatever.

Just letting you know that you're wrong about the reasons why people buy/don't buy cds anymore.

Most people stop buying CDs because they get older than 30.

Re:Nice way to stereotype people (1)

pho3nixtar (924810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18922495)

Habit. You're conditioned to associate the packaging with the enjoyment of owning and being able to listen to a new piece of music. Newer generations that grow up with mp3s will not have this response. Besides, do you enjoy having to rip it to mp3 before you can transfer it to your mp3-player as well?
Newer generations are being conditioned to be lying, thieving whores, who think they are entitled to a new piece of music just because it's easily available to download.

Re:Nice way to stereotype people (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923991)

Newer generations are being conditioned to be lying, thieving whores,

You are not the first to have said something similar. Here is an earlier one [bartleby.com]

who think they are entitled to a new piece of music just because it's easily available to download.

And who are you to say they aren't? (Hint: "It's the law", is not a good answer. Laws can and should be changed to reflect the times we are living in. Digital technology is such a change)

Re:Nice way to stereotype people (1)

pho3nixtar (924810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924499)

You are not the first to have said something similar.
And I certainly won't be the last.

And who are you to say they aren't? (Hint: "It's the law", is not a good answer. Laws can and should be changed to reflect the times we are living in. Digital technology is such a change)
Who are you to question who I am to say that they aren't?

The problem is overpriced CD's. (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911267)

I think everybody ignores the biggest issue hurting music CD sales: the ridiculously high price for a new album-length CD regardless of source (record stores, big box retailers and even online stores).

They should price new CD's at a more appropriate US$12 per disc, not the US$17-$18 per disc as is common practice now. That high price not only discourages sales, but also increases the economic incentive to "cheat" system (e.g., music piracy). By lowering the suggested retail price to US$12, you can drastically cut the incentive to pirate music, which actually benefits everyone all around.

By the way, I don't think movie piracy is as big a problem as people think. I cite the following reasons: 1) Pirated DVD's usually have pretty poor quality video and audio; 2) Downloading a movie from BitTorrent takes a long time unless you have extremely fast broadband (very few people have anything over 6 mbps download speed broadband); and 3) DVD pricing is still reasonable considering what you get on a DVD nowadays with all its extra features.

RIAA must be happy with the Big Box model (1)

Etobian (693918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911609)

The push by RIAA to eradicate Internet radio and the emergence of the "Big Box" retailing model do the same thing: they reduce the choices available to consumers to the few CDs that RIAA member companies want to push. They want a return the the glory days when the music-consuming audience was all on the same page, listening to and buying the same "hits" that were manufactured and controlled by the RIAA cartel.

Music Industry needs pricing flexibility (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18913013)

Music Industry needs pricing flexibility. In other words, the business needs to face reality. They are selling every title at exactly the same price. The only time that a CD disk goes to a lower price category is when it doesn't sell for a LONG time and the retailer wants to get it out of the building.
    This retail methodology is based on the concept that every customer has a different level of interest in each music CD title being sold. Rather than be flexible on the price, the retailer marks everything at the same price and has customers buy according to their want. If a customer feels that the release by the Anal Probes is worth $40, then they get a 'deal' by being able to buy it for $18, which is more or less the average price of all new CDs. Some other customer who doesn't feel that the new Probes CD is worth the standard $18 sale price won't buy, or will postpone the purchase.
    So the business model is based on retail storage of the selection of CD titles. If the cost of the retail storage time of a CD title is greater than the rent or opportunity cost of the space that the title has on the store shelf, the retailer loses money on the title. If the particular CD is popular, it sells quickly and the profit on the sale is greater than the cost rent for of space that the physical CD occupies during the time that it was physically in the store.
    A different business model would be to have the customers bid on the individual physical CDs that are in a retail store. The store would have ten copies of the latest Anal Probes CD. Buy_It_Now price would be $30. Each week two copies of the CD would be auctioned. The two high bidders would come to the store the day the auction finished and pay the high bid that the individual CD received. Half of this price would go to the retailer and half to the record company (who would toss a few pennies to the band, if they felt like it).
    In this model there is constant turnover of CD stock and people would be more likely to try and buy new music based on written reviews and word-of-mouth. This model was never adopted in the 20th century because it required enormous amounts of record keeping. But now that we have cheap powerful computers, keeping detailed and extensive records is not an issue. The issue is the record companies and retailers being willing to try a new form of marketing. Which they are loath to do.
    So the next time that you hear about some media retailer complain about how difficult it is to do business in the age of downloading and how castration is the only suitable solution to P2P users so that they don't reproduce, ask them quite pointedly and emphatically if they EVER considered a different way of conducting their business. Explain this CD auction concept to them. They say "It's an interesting idea, but not practical". In other words, it would mean that they would actually have to adapt to a changing reality and actually work for their free money and they don't want to do that. Much easier to just to get psychopathic lawyers to extort thousands of dollars from randomly selected former customers in order to bring back the good-old-days of Fleetwood Mac-Rumours and Saturday Night Fever-level record sales.

But those days are gone. So adapt or die.

Re:Music Industry needs pricing flexibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18914695)

"They say "It's an interesting idea, but not practical"."

they might just say "That's an incredibly stupid idea."

the reason online sales are huge at all is because for most people, it is easier to pay to download then it is to search out an illegal copy of it on a torrent site or something. what's great about itunes/emusic/etc is that hundreds of thousands of albums are available for instant purchase. in a world where people are used to getting their media instantly, why would anyone think that limiting the amount of sales per week in an auction format would succeed? it creates an artificial demand that can be relieved by going on soulseek and oink and getting it for free.

there are still sales to be had for musicians, they are just gonna have to work a little harder at it. hopefully artists are starting to realize that putting all their faith in a record label that is slow to change will not be beneficial for them.
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