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 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Oh, I explore like a madman too. Old scores, new scores, non-film music. But it's all digital files (streaming, digital promos, what have you). In terms of physical albums (CDs and LPs), it's all very much limited to that want list. Due, in no small part, to the aforementioned challenges.

 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2021 - 1:31 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Oh, I explore like a madman too. Old scores, new scores, non-film music. But it's all digital files (streaming, digital promos, what have you). In terms of physical albums (CDs and LPs), it's all very much limited to that want list. Due, in no small part, to the aforementioned challenges.


I see. Yes, streaming is very convenient to explore new and current releases or stuff you're not familiar with.
I still buy CDs now and then, especially limited film score editions such as the current batch of new releases including THE PUBLIC EYE, but also downloads, depending on price, convenience, availability, etc. It all ends up as ALACs on my NAS anyway.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2021 - 8:34 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

The biggest issue I have with streaming - whether from an external service, or from my NAS - is that everything is entirely at the mercy of my home wi-fi (since it's not practical to connect every device, on every floor, via Ethernet). And wi-fi is generally a pretty bad technology, subject to all sorts of issues.

Powerline cables are okay as an alternative (magical actually, in some respects, but not everyone has that option either, depending on how your home's electric cables are wired).

At least with CD you're guaranteed to reach the end of it!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2021 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

Yes, streaming is very convenient to explore new and current releases or stuff you're not familiar with.

And, of course, it's basically free once you've heard the first 1 or 2 albums per monthly £20(ish) payment. After that you're not paying for a single note, no matter how many albums you listen to, or how often. It's a wacky model for sure!

How artists benefit from it is beyond me (they basically don't of course)

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Here is a little counter-evidence to the "end" of CD sales.

The New York Times has a new article about album sales tied to the release of Adele's new album, 30.

"Of the 692,000 copies of “30” that were sold as complete packages — albums, in other words — 205,000 were digital downloads and 487,000 were on physical formats, including 378,000 CDs, 108,000 vinyl LPs and fewer than 2,000 cassettes."

So nearly four times as many CDs as vinyl LPs sold in the first week of release.

PS Keep in mind that in the same week the album's "songs racked up 185 million streams" - so streaming still wins by a tsunamilandslidehurricaneeruption. But far less revenue involved per stream, so they are not counted the same on the way to a million in sales.


Adele Is No. 1 With a Huge Week, but Without a Million in Sales
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/arts/music/adele-30-billboard-chart.html

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 12:50 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

But consider, Adele is a major pop star. Album sales of major pop stars used to be counted in millions, not thousands.

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Um, duh. wink

Just making the point that it's not that CDs don't sell anymore, especially as compared to vinyl. As I've been saying since I started this thread four years ago, down and down they go as streaming overtakes all. But they ain't dead yet, and vinyl hasn't replaced the desire to buy CDs. Vinyl just gets the attention these days.

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 1:04 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

True, that is so.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 5:28 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)


And, of course, it's basically free once you've heard the first 1 or 2 albums per monthly £20(ish) payment.


Er, that's a weird way of looking at it. When you buy an album (physical or digital) you pay once and get it for as long as you want to keep it. A streaming service only lasts as long as you pay for it...or it even exists. And you'd compare listening once for 10 akin to buying a full album?

Yeesh.

Incidentally, Tidal now offers 16-bit lossless for $10/month, with the former $20 price for their hi-fi plan (which may or may not be actual lossless but that's a different issue...)

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2021 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

The specialist labels were happy years ago when the bricks-and-mortar record stores closed down and sales moved online. It meant they could cut out the middle-men and save the money spent sending CDs to big numbers of dealers around the country and worldwide, sell directly and start making shipping profits for themselves.
Now the boot is on the other foot and it's the specialist labels themselves who have become the middle-men, with an increasing number of their former market turning to streaming and seeing them as superfluous.

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2021 - 1:48 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I just bought a bunch of download recordings from Qobuz in their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.

For example, the Slatkin Detroit recordings of music by Aaron Copland on Naxos. Had I bough these on CD, every album would have cost me around 12 bucks, in the Qobuz sale as 24-Bit/96kHz download only 4.50. And yes, booklets included (as PDF). So I pay less money for (theoretically) better sound quality. And I save shelf space.

Yes, I still prefer to buy downloads over streaming; download services like Qobuz and Tidal provide excellent sound quality, but lousy tagging. Also, most of the time, I just listen to my own music anyway, a LOT of music I like is NOT available on ANY streaming service, or it is very difficult to find (did I mention the stuff is often awfully tagged?) So I prefer to invest more of my money in purchasing downloads over throwing it at subscription services, as I have thousands of music pieces of my favorite music already at my disposal.

However, I've been around, and I already HAVE a sizable music collection, which I bought over the years. If I were now starting out, I might feel different. Why would I start a music collection, if I can just spend 10-20 bucks a month and have thousands of records to explore at my disposal?

Presumably, many of the people still buying CDs are people who have bought CDs for some time, and since they already have sizable collections, they buy fewer. I find it likely that few younger people start out actually "buying" music, be it on CD or as download, they just use devices to stream it.

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2021 - 8:04 AM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

I find it likely that few younger people start out actually "buying" music, be it on CD or as download, they just use devices to stream it.

Before the vinyl renaissance, the teen and young people trend was to buy the download and then later rebuy the album on CD as a collectible (staggered release dates). Now it's common to buy the vinyl as a collectible but many cannot even play it. Because yes, they probably just stream it in the end anyway.

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2021 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


Before the vinyl renaissance, the teen and young people trend was to buy the download and then later rebuy the album on CD as a collectible (staggered release dates). Now it's common to buy the vinyl as a collectible but many cannot even play it. Because yes, they probably just stream it in the end anyway.


As far as collectibles go, I still have a bunch of LPs from earlier days, which I sometimes put up on display (currently Elmer Bernstein's WALK ON THE WILD SIDE; I love that cover).
I also still enjoy well done soundtrack releases, like the Rhino BEN HUR (that was just a beautiful issue when it came out back in the day), or the complete LORD OF THE RINGS recordings (very classy booklets on classy paper). I don't mind buying physical CD media (in fact, I still do and just ordered some), but I just as easily buy downloads, if the offer is better (as was the case in the above mentioned Naxos recordings).

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2022 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Headline in today's Inside Radio: Not Dead Yet: CDs Enjoyed A Comeback In 2021.

Lead paragraphs:

"The recorded music industry may no longer be laser-focused on the compact disc, but the format's sales grew in 2021 for the first time in 17 years, driven by superstar product boosted by retailer-exclusive collectibles, as well as by older catalog titles. Leading the charge were Adele's long-awaited “30” album, along with a trio of Taylor Swift titles and two from international pop sensation BTS.

"While vinyl's 51.4% increase in 2021 helped drive total U.S. album sales up 6.3% from 2020 – marking the first sales growth for albums in ten years, according to MRC Data's 2021 U.S. Year-End Report – CDs, although outsold by vinyl for the first time since MRC began tracking music sales in 1991, still showed a 1.1% gain, the format's first year-over-year growth since 2004. Granted, that growth, from 40.2 million albums in 2020 to 40.6 million in 2021, is on a far different scale than 17 years ago, when CDs sold 636.5 million in 2003 and 665.5 million in 2004, and Usher, Norah Jones and Eminem moved 15 million of those discs."

By the way, vinyl sold 41.7 million units, compared with 40.6 million CDs.

http://www.insideradio.com/free/not-dead-yet-cds-enjoyed-a-comeback-in-2021/article_d7e0dc28-7002-11ec-bd25-c3528ed36370.html

And if you click the link in the Inside Radio piece to the research itself, the larger context from MRC Data:

"Overall consumption grew 11.3% year-over-year (YOY) in 2021, thanks to a 12.6% lift in on-demand audio streaming."

https://mrcdatareports.com/mrc-data-2021-u-s-year-end-report/

 
 Posted:   Jan 7, 2022 - 2:46 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I bought the new LLL Field of Dreams a few minutes ago. Cost me $40 (well, $39.15 actually) and I'm a local customer with relatively low shipping cost.
The 5,000 copies, even if all were sold exclusively to just local customers, would amount to $200,000 being handed over by customers ($195,750, actually). The amount spent on local shipping alone ($6.10 apiece) would be exactly $30,500, so the post office would be well pleased with their chunk of that. With overseas shipping, add tens of thousands more.
Looks like there's still plenty of money changing hands for CDs.

 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2022 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Update from Inside Radio, focused on vinyl - key points:

During the first half of 2022, vinyl album sales [is] the only segment of recorded music for sale that continues to grow, according to Luminate's Midyear Music Report....

What's driving those sales is not classic catalog titles, which might attract those older male consumers, but rather current releases, sales of which are up 27.4% year-over-year while catalog LP sales fell 8.4%. (Driven foremost by Harry Styles)

While it may be dwarfed by digital track sales, vinyl LPs accounted for more than half (53%) of sales of all physical albums in the U.S. from January to June of this year. Vinyl's 19.4 million units, up 1.0% from the first half of 2021, again exceeds total sales for both CDs and digital albums.

While even with vinyl's growth, recorded music sales continued to decline during 2022's first half, on-demand streaming saw double-digit increases, with audio and video streaming together up 11.6% year-over-year according to Luminate's report. Taking into account both stream-equivalent album consumption and digital-track-equivalent album sales, the industry is up 9.3% in total album consumption and 10.6% for total digital music consumption.

https://www.insideradio.com/free/whos-driving-up-vinyl-lp-sales-in-2022-its-probably-not-who-you-think/article_925df5ae-0987-11ed-9061-432d41ea0a23.html

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2022 - 11:20 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Another report, this time from RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as reported in Radio Ink.

"After remarkable growth in 2021 following the COVID-razed 2020, sales of vinyl records continued to rise in the first half, with revenues up 22% to $570 million, as vinyl’s share of the physical market increased from 68% to 73%. “Music lovers clearly can't get enough of vinyl's warm sound and tangible connection to artists and labels have squarely met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted packages and discs,” Glazier said. Revenues from CDs fell 2% to $200 million and accounted for 26% of physical revenues."



But as always, the real story is streaming.

"Continuing to build on 2021’s sturdy growth, U.S recorded music revenues in the first half of 2022 rose 9% to $7.7 billion in estimated retail value. Streaming remained the industry’s big breadwinner with revenues of $6.5 billion, up 10% year-over-year, according to the RIAA’s mid-year 2022 revenue report."





https://www.insideradio.com/free/riaa-recorded-music-revenues-rose-9-to-7-7-billion-in-first-half/article_d8d624f8-3a41-11ed-a9d1-cf995fbfdd4a.html

 
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