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RE: Slagging Over Sagging CD Sales

> When I talk with 20 somethings what I hear is they get
> bored with the same old same old very quickly with regards to commercial
> music. What do music industry customer surveys tell them about their
> products?? What needs changed from their end of the business?

As a music critic, I receive anywhere from 20 to 30 new releases in the
mail each week from labels both large (a few) and small (tons).  When I
get messages from my friends at these labels telling me that they've been
laid off, or when I simply stop receiving review copies altogether and
later find out that the label has gone under, it's invariably a small
independent label that was offering something other than the "same old
same old" and wasn't being supported by those 20 somethings Chuck has been
talking to.  All record labels, both the commercial and the
experimental/non-profit, are threatened when the general public decides
that music "wants to be free" and decides to ignore copyright law; the
difference is that the big commercial labels face a decline in
profitability, while the small independent labels face oblivion.  Some of
my favorite indie labels -- many of which were doing just fine through the
music-buying doldrums of the 1990s -- have gone out of business since
Napster came on the scene.

There was an interesting article in the NYT Magazine a few weeks back
speculating on the future of commercial music production.  It's worth a
read.  (Kevin Kelly. "Where music will be coming from." New York Times
Magazine; Mar 17, 2002; pg. 29.)

> I'm sure we've all noticed that
> while DVD's of feature films cost significantly less to the purchaser than
> video tapes,

Huh?  Time to change stores, I think.  VHS tapes typically list for $5-$10
less than their DVD counterparts.  Click over to Amazon and check the
prices on, say, Moulin Rouge ($15 on VHS, $30 on DVD) or the Phantom
Menace ($20 on VHS, $30 on DVD).

>CD's of music cost much more than cassettes.

Not in real dollars.  The list price of a CD (around $18) has not
increased since CDs were first introduced twenty years ago.  That means
there has been a steady price decrease for CDs at the rate of inflation.
Cassettes, however (which now list at around $11), have gone up in price
by a good 40% since that time.

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno        "When you think Phil, you
1664 No. Virginia St.              think hip-hop."
Reno, NV  89557                       -- Phil Donahue
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