Album Sales Dying Fast

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Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 4th, 2019, 3:09 pm

I read with interest this article which says as streaming increases in popularity, people are no longer buying albums and songs. ... g#comments

I think there are parallels to the gaming world as well. Digital distribution might just be a transition to the game-as-a-service the industry has been wanting for a long time. It's not my thing, but a lot of people find the idea appealing. Clearly the idea of owning their media is much less important to the latest generation.


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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby Stalvern » January 4th, 2019, 4:17 pm

People are becoming appallingly trusting of massive corporations, even as these entities become more powerful, pervasive, and controlling than they have been at any point in history. Irrespective of the service of streaming itself, the attitudes about corporate control I'm seeing in that Slashdot thread depress me. This is just one symptom of a vast systemic problem.

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby scotland » January 4th, 2019, 4:40 pm

I was just having a conversation on the proliferation of streaming services for television and movie content. Once there was Netflix, which tried years ago to divest themselves of their physical DVD by mail service once they had enough streaming members. Now with smart tvs, many households are capable of streaming without any extra hardware, and the number of streaming services has risen dramatically. How many memberships can you possibly have to streaming services?

Video gaming at least settled down to 3 big contenders, but I don't think many gamers have online subscriptions to all three. For ebooks, there is basically Amazon and "everyone else", where at least 'everyone else' uses the same format (at least for the US). Its not quite "books as a service" but it is proprietary digital formats, and control of the primary and secondary (mostly destroying the secondary) marketplaces.

There are big advantages to not owning physical media - possibly future proofing on format changes, portability and access even while on vacation or at someone else's house, no storage issues - but its also predicated on trust, constantly funneling money to the content rights holder for that access, and risking that it goes away or gets edited without your consent.

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby mbd36 » January 4th, 2019, 5:57 pm

I used to buy CDs all the time but now I mostly listen to music on Youtube. It's too convenient to have all that free music at my fingertips without the hassle of signing up for anything or download anything.

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby Robotrek » January 4th, 2019, 6:02 pm

Sad thing, this is what contributes to the rising cost of concert ticket prices. Since people aren't buying albums, bands need to charge absurd amounts for their concert tickets now. This is why I can now only afford to see one big show a year, and see bands at smaller venues (like the Kix show I just saw at a tiny bar in Warrendale).

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby Voor » January 5th, 2019, 8:46 am

I still buy CDs, but mostly because 90% of my music listening comes in the car. My routine is to first listen to an album on YouTube, and if I like it, buy the CD.

I only buy about 2-3 albums a year.

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby Ozzybear » January 5th, 2019, 11:41 am

Sadly, It has been this way for quite some time now

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby newmodelarmy » January 5th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Sooner or later CD's will no longer be available. It is inevitable. I won't care as I went "all digital" about five years ago. I still buy albums as I like to support the artists as best I can but it is all done through the iTunes store. Word on the street is that the iTunes store is going to shut down the iTunes store completely at some point over the next few years in favor of an all streaming strategy. That is unconfirmed but the rumors have been swirling on that one for a long time. I am a huge music fan and the idea of only being able to stream music makes me ill. That being said...things evolve and not necessarily for the better either.

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby SpaceGuitarist » January 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm

Robotrek wrote:Sad thing, this is what contributes to the rising cost of concert ticket prices. Since people aren't buying albums, bands need to charge absurd amounts for their concert tickets now. This is why I can now only afford to see one big show a year, and see bands at smaller venues (like the Kix show I just saw at a tiny bar in Warrendale).

Even worse, what's left of the physical market is shifting to please overgrown children with a lot of money to spend.
Did you notice the current trend of releasing music ONLY as a digital download or super-limited, super-expensive vinyl with gadgets so silly that would make even the most childish fans cringe? I was shocked when I read that Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica (which back in 1969 was an anti-establishment manifesto) was released in a luxurious new vinyl edition bundled with A SHOPPING BAG AND A REAL PLASTIC MASK. What adult on earth would find shopping bangs, plastic masks, drink coasters, keychains etc so attractive as to justify paying 3 times more than the actual value of the record?

Just to point out how much the rock audience has changed for the worse, in the early 2000s Aerosmith released an album packaged with a mini-harmonica/keychain. People would buy the album and throw away the toy in the nearest garbage bin. Flash-forward 15 years and people are preordering this stuff 3 months in advance and paying 3 times as much for the privilege...

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Re: Album Sales Dying Fast

Postby rohoGames » January 5th, 2019, 1:54 pm

I don't think it is as grim as a world with no physical media. I think what we're going to see is an initial dive where the number of physical releases drops, but you have a resurgence of physical media products but with a more specialized, curated angle.

My video game collection is a great example of this! Once I started moving every few years for game dev jobs, my dreams of that awesome game room faded as the need to downsize grew ever larger. So I got rid of a lot of stuff (some of which I regret, lol). But, over time (despite my need to be mobile not really changing), I've brought back a more curated collection: I buy carts of stuff I played as a kid, but avoid the "super obvious" games because I have a lot of ways to play those. So I own Contra Hard Corps but not Sonic, for instance.

I find myself wanting to do the same for music. Sadly, even though I love physical media, I couldn't resist using spotify as a paid user and now upgraded to the family account. It's great. However, now I find myself wanting to have a nice, curated collection of vinyl records- I love everything about vinyl- the huge art, the sound of it, the tactile feel. Much like great video game carts/boxes!

So I think there is a market for physical media even if the game industry does fully evolve into a service based, subscription model. You see this now with all these indie games getting physical releases on boutique labels like limited run games and the like. The SNK 40th Anniversary collection is a great example of how a boxed retail game can be done well too (although it is regrettable that the bonus games aren't on the cart, you download them, I would have preferred all the games are there to make it purely offline).

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