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Topic: Recording media  (Read 625 times)

Offline ahinton

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Recording media
on: August 15, 2022, 03:39:58 PM
It has been suggested elsewhere that the CD medium is now outdated due to the advent of more recent means of disseminating recordings (and not only of piano music, of course). In the 1980s, CDs began largely to take over from vinyl as the standard recorded medium of the day, yet that transition seemed to take only a few years at most. Streaming and other newer resources, however, have now been around for quite some time yet, for whatever reason, there seems so far to be scant evidence of their supplanting the CD medium, as major record companies continue to manufacture CDs and release them for distribution. Some of those companies have been in business for decades and, as they are commercial organisations, it would seem inconceivable that they would continue with CDs had demand for them dwindled as a consequence of the presence of other media; one has only to peruse the catalogues of those companies to recognise that their resolve to issue more new CDs continues apace; this would surely cease to be the case were there no longer a market for them.

I neither own, run nor have other vested interests in any record company and am therefore not best placed to suggest any reasons why the CD market continues to be as buoyant as seems to be the case. If this subject is of interest to anyone here, please feel free to respond with thoughts on it.

Thank you.
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Offline bwl_13

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Re: Recording media
Reply #1 on: August 15, 2022, 04:46:19 PM
I think you're overestimating how popular CDs are, however, I haven't looked into any numbers to back this up. In the circles I operate in, there are very few, if any, people I know that have purchased a CD in the last 5 years and definitely none that consume most of their music from CDs. Streaming is definitely the primary means of consumption with people 25 and under (which is generally the demographic I interact with), and I'm pretty sure this is fairly consistent. CDs seem to be more popular with classical musicians, considering that people can still make some decent money selling CDs. I know that streaming isn't generally the best way to consume classical music due to compression and general loss of detail, but I'm not sure how much better CDs are.

I actually think I know more people who consume music semi-regularly on vinyl rather than on CDs! I'm guessing the reason companies still manufacture CDs is that there's likely still enough of an audience, especially in certain demographics, but on my limited perspective as a student in southern Ontario, I see little love for CDs
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #2 on: August 15, 2022, 04:53:06 PM
I think you're overestimating how popular CDs are, however, I haven't looked into any numbers to back this up. In the circles I operate in, there are very few, if any, people I know that have purchased a CD in the last 5 years and definitely none that consume most of their music from CDs. Streaming is definitely the primary means of consumption with people 25 and under (which is generally the demographic I interact with), and I'm pretty sure this is fairly consistent. CDs seem to be more popular with classical musicians, considering that people can still make some decent money selling CDs. I know that streaming isn't generally the best way to consume classical music due to compression and general loss of detail, but I'm not sure how much better CDs are.

I actually think I know more people who consume music semi-regularly on vinyl rather than on CDs! I'm guessing the reason companies still manufacture CDs is that there's likely still enough of an audience, especially in certain demographics, but on my limited perspective as a student in southern Ontario, I see little love for CDs
Well, I'm merely going on those long-standing record companies who continue to issue them in quantities and at frequencies that I'd not longer expect them to do had the wind been knocked out the CD market's sails. I don't doubt that streaming will have affected CD sales but not, it seems, to the point at which such companies have yet decided to call time on them.
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: Recording media
Reply #3 on: August 15, 2022, 07:21:39 PM
Neither of my millenial daughters buys CDs.  They do buy albums on some kind of streaming thing I don't understand.

When I was cleaning house I asked them which CDs they wanted me to save, and they laughed at me.  They said pitch them all, we can listen to anything we want anytime. 
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #4 on: August 15, 2022, 08:22:52 PM
Neither of my millenial daughters buys CDs.  They do buy albums on some kind of streaming thing I don't understand.

When I was cleaning house I asked them which CDs they wanted me to save, and they laughed at me.  They said pitch them all, we can listen to anything we want anytime.
This is all perfectly understandable, so why might you suppose that record companies continue to issue CDs in their hundreds of thousands between them? There must be some reason, presumably, which is why I put forward the question, for these businesses which, like any other, must make a profit in order to to continue to exist, would surely not continue to do it if few people any longer purchased CDs...
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Recording media
Reply #5 on: August 15, 2022, 08:35:57 PM
I don't think the CD market is buoyant at all, except for major artists, but I presume the reason why companies still print them off by the hundreds or thousands is that there is some demand for them, and the industry standard for audio CD manufacture is replication, as opposed to duplication. Replication typically requires a minimum order of 500 units, though you might find some places willing to do as low as c. 250, and the process is relatively inexpensive.
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Offline lelle

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Re: Recording media
Reply #6 on: August 15, 2022, 08:51:57 PM
My understanding of CD sales, from following bands n stuff outside of classical music, is that overall they are down, but people who are fans of music like to own music on physical media to both support the artists they like (streaming services pay terribly low) and because it makes putting on an album you like a bit of a ritual. That's also why vinyl sales have risen from practically nothing to having a healthy niche market among music fans. You can see especially in the metal / punk rock community that many album releases are promoted on vinyl as well as CD, stremaing etc.

For example, I'll usually buy CD:s from bands I like just to have the album artwork, booklet etc plus the music in a physical format that I can hold in my hands and look at, and sometimes buy the vinyl release for the same reason if I can afford it. It just feels much better to have, even if for convenience sake I'll often put the music on via a streaming service.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #7 on: August 16, 2022, 02:36:05 AM
Streaming and other newer resources, however, have now been around for quite some time yet, for whatever reason, there seems so far to be scant evidence of their supplanting the CD medium...
::)
Considering the US as a sample space, streaming grew to $12.443 billion in 2021 compared to CDs which only sold $0.5842 billion in 2021 (and applying 8 year old childrens maths you can see it is ~21.3 times less!!). If you call that scant evidence you haven't even looked at any evidence at all.

Actual reliable evidence supported by the entertainment analytics firm MRC Data can be found in this pdf file below, much better than just using ones personal opinion:
https://static.billboard.com/files/2021/07/MRCData_MIDYEAR_2021_US_FINAL-1626122960.pdf


And here is clear evidence that CD sales have plummeted over the years.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/186772/album-shipments-in-the-us-music-industry-since-1999/


In the 1980s, CDs began largely to take over from vinyl as the standard recorded medium of the day, yet that transition seemed to take only a few years at most.
And yet vinyl have sold more than CDs recently. Vinyl album sales in the US exceeded those of CDs for the first time in 34 years in 2020.
https://themusicnetwork.com/vinyl-sales-2021/

And to top it off the picture found below shows ALL physical music sales of all types vs digital media and streaming, this clearly shows how much physical sales in $ have collapsed over time too.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #8 on: August 16, 2022, 07:26:44 AM
streaming services pay terribly low
They most certainly do - as is painfully evident from https://producerhive.com/music-marketing-tips/streaming-royalties-breakdown/ ; add to that the plethora of illicit uploads to YouTube and elsewhere and the cost of takedowns and the gravity of the problem becomes self-evident. The statements that I receive bear out vast differences between streaming revenues and CD ones. I do not for one moment imagine that this is a reason why record companies continue to release CDs, though, yet they must have their reasons otherwise they'd not continue to do it.Compared to the time when CDs largely superseded vinyl, the whosesale replacement of CDs by more recent media seems yet to materialise; indeed, the statista figures shown earlier even indicate in increase in 2021 over 2020 (not that there is any suggestion that this reversal repesents a trend, of course).
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #9 on: August 17, 2022, 01:17:33 PM
And yet vinyl have sold more than CDs recently. Vinyl album sales in the US exceeded those of CDs for the first time in 34 years in 2020.
This is indeed true; given the extent to which vinyl was superseded by CDs, to what might you attribute this recent upturn which pertains not only in US?
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #10 on: August 17, 2022, 04:27:51 PM
This is indeed true; given the extent to which vinyl was superseded by CDs, to what might you attribute this recent upturn which pertains not only in US?
You can look up reasons for why this is by specific google searches into the topic, for example key words could be "vinyl popularity" there is no point regurgitating the info that is already out there. Nevertheless physical sales are simply eclipsed by digital and streaming.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #11 on: August 17, 2022, 04:44:39 PM
You can look up reasons for why this is by specific google searches into the topic, for example key words could be "vinyl popularity" there is no point regurgitating the info that is already out there. Nevertheless physical sales are simply eclipsed by digital and streaming.
That's common knowledge yet record companies - which, like most of the rest of us, depend for their survival on making profits - continue to manufacture and release CDs; it is not obvious why they would do that if streaming and the rest were to have remnoved most of the market for them.

Although not quite the same subject, one can only hope that campaigns to increase streaming royalties are eventually successful, as such payments are pitiful at present; it is therefore a good thing for artists that CDs - which pay far higher rates - continue to be issued.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #12 on: August 17, 2022, 05:07:55 PM
That's common knowledge
Yet you opened this thread with the statement:
"Streaming and other newer resources ..... there seems so far to be scant evidence of their supplanting the CD medium"

yet record companies - which, like most of the rest of us, depend for their survival on making profits - continue to manufacture and release CDs; it is not obvious why they would do that if streaming and the rest were to have remnoved most of the market for them.
Producing CDs is inexpensive and the technology to create them is readily available to even the consumer market level. If one can make profit why would you not do it? The industry has not died but it is certainly standing in the shadow of technological progress. No major music recording publisher I can think of relies on CD sales nowadays and they have all modernised to the new streaming/digital format.

Although not quite the same subject, one can only hope that campaigns to increase streaming royalties are eventually successful, as such payments are pitiful at present; it is therefore a good thing for artists that CDs - which pay far higher rates - continue to be issued.
More artists are benefiting from streaming than they did from CD sales. You can google that fact.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #13 on: August 17, 2022, 07:11:18 PM
Yet you opened this thread with the statement:
"Streaming and other newer resources ..... there seems so far to be scant evidence of their supplanting the CD medium"
Precisely; I did not state that these had no impact upon the CD medium, merely that they seem not to have supplanted it.

Producing CDs is inexpensive and the technology to create them is readily available to even the consumer market level. If one can make profit why would you not do it? The industry has not died but it is certainly standing in the shadow of technological progress. No major music recording publisher I can think of relies on CD sales nowadays and they have all modernised to the new streaming/digital format.
More artists are benefiting from streaming than they did from CD sales.
Some might depend as far as they are able upon both and it is certainly rue that producing CDs is less expensive than once it was, but there is no doubt about the fact that artists derive far less from streaming rates than they do for those that apply to CDs; the extent to which artists are benefiting from streaming revenues can be assessed only in terms of the unit prices applicable to each from each such source.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #14 on: August 17, 2022, 07:53:48 PM
Precisely; I did not state that these had no impact upon the CD medium, merely that they seem not to have supplanted it.
You would be simply wrong to say it has not supplanted (supersede, take the place of authority and replace) the CD medium as the evidence is quite clear they have done just that!

Some might depend as far as they are able upon both and it is certainly rue that producing CDs is less expensive than once it was, but there is no doubt about the fact that artists derive far less from streaming rates than they do for those that apply to CDs; the extent to which artists are benefiting from streaming revenues can be assessed only in terms of the unit prices applicable to each from each such source.
There is ample evidence that more artists make more money from streaming than CD sales ever did for them.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #15 on: August 17, 2022, 09:10:32 PM
You would be simply wrong to say it has not supplanted (supersede, take the place of authority and replace) the CD medium as the evidence is quite clear they have done just that!
Then how do you account for the fact that major CD manufacturers / suppliers continue to manufacture / supply CDs?

There is ample evidence that more artists make more money from streaming than CD sales ever did for them.
There is ample evidence of the very opposite; one has only to look at the stats for what the various outfits pay per stream to recognise that - and I have only to look at my own statements to see the vast difference in unit payments between streams and CDs.
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Recording media
Reply #16 on: August 17, 2022, 09:48:04 PM
Then how do you account for the fact that major CD manufacturers / suppliers continue to manufacture / supply CDs?

I strongly suspect the reasons for this are as I posted above, ie

I presume the reason why companies still print them off by the hundreds or thousands is that there is *some* demand for them, and the industry standard for audio CD manufacture is replication, as opposed to duplication. Replication typically requires a minimum order of 500 units, though you might find some places willing to do as low as c. 250, and the process is relatively inexpensive.

and to further clarify that, what I mean is that a label may have an idea that their CD sales are going to be in the low hundreds, but, unless they want to risk their reputation somewhat by producing lower grade CD-R duplications, the mechanical process of producing *replicated* CDs is so cheap that it makes sense to do a print run of 500 or 1000 (even knowing there is very little prospect of selling all of them) in order to satisfy the small number of customers who definitely do want a physical product.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #17 on: August 18, 2022, 02:08:06 AM
Then how do you account for the fact that major CD manufacturers / suppliers continue to manufacture / [supply CDs?
It has already been explained if there is profit to be made why wouldn't they do it? Even though the profit today is many times smaller than what it used to be and I have demonstrated that amount of difference in my initial post and how non physical media have thoroughly supplanted it.

There is ample evidence of the very opposite;
More artists have made money through streaming than CDs. This is not to say that ALL have benefited from it but the industry today has more complicated economics and it is also evolving.

"More artists are benefiting from streaming than they did from CDs according to new data. Official figures released by record labels' association the BPI show that more artists are succeeding as streaming and the music industry boomed in 2021. In 2021, nearly 2000 artists were streamed over 10 million times in the UK. This compares with 1,798 in 2020 and 1,537 in 2019, up a quarter in two years. It also means nearly twice as many artists are now earning meaningful royalties as they could in the the CD era.

For an artist, 10 million streams generates at least the same royalties as 10,000 CD sales, and nearly 2,000 artists will achieve at least 10 million streams this year in the UK alone nearly double the number who sold the equivalent number of CDs and downloads in 2007. "

https://www.cityam.com/more-artists-are-benefiting-from-streaming-than-they-did-from-cds-according-to-new-data/

In any case money to be made via recordings has seen a downward trend since the physical medium no longer was the prime source. Before the internet money made when copy tools were possible also reduced the money artists would make, illegal piracy cost the industry a great deal of loss.

The streaming industry is only growing more and more each year, the amount of times artists are going to   be listened to is only set to increase also. It is a complicated process balancing how much each stream should be paid and how that money trickles down to the artist themselves I don't think any one of us here can really have any authority on that topic unless we are experts in the economics of it all. All we have to realize is that the numbers are growing each year where the physical medium of records have dwindled to such a rate that making a living off those is many times more difficult for those wanting to make a living from streaming their work.

one has only to look at the stats for what the various outfits pay per stream to recognise that - and I have only to look at my own statements to see the vast difference in unit payments between streams and CDs.
Like I said it will not benefit everyone but looking at the larger picture it is the only way forward. The music recording business was collapsing and something had to save it. The transition from CDs to digital downloads had been shrinking the record industry leading to mass layoffs, and artist-roster cuts at major labels, streaming has changed all of this and there is nothing else better to save the industry thusfar. Of course there needs to be change to benefit the artists more but like I said none of us here are expert enough to actually layout exactly what that is.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #18 on: August 18, 2022, 07:50:27 AM
More artists have made money through streaming than CDs. This is not to say that ALL have benefited from it but the industry today has more complicated economics and it is also evolving.
True, but that is in part down to some artists not being asked or having opportunities to make CDs for record companies; streaming is clearly more versatile and flexible in that respect.

"More artists are benefiting from streaming than they did from CDs according to new data. Official figures released by record labels' association the BPI show that more artists are succeeding as streaming and the music industry boomed in 2021. In 2021, nearly 2000 artists were streamed over 10 million times in the UK. This compares with 1,798 in 2020 and 1,537 in 2019, up a quarter in two years. It also means nearly twice as many artists are now earning meaningful royalties as they could in the the CD era.
Same answer as in the previous paragraph.

For an artist, 10 million streams generates at least the same royalties as 10,000 CD sales, and nearly 2,000 artists will achieve at least 10 million streams this year in the UK alone nearly double the number who sold the equivalent number of CDs and downloads in 2007."
Aye, there's the rub; c.1,000 times as many streams are required to generate the royalties that would be generated by a single CD. This would appear to presume the need for vast quantities of streams compared to CDs; the fact that there are many more streaming possibilities than there are CD ones does nothing to make those figures look any better. "Nearly 2,000 artists in UK alone?"; if that's correct (and there's no obvious reason to doubt it), it is likely that many of them would be in the fields of rock, pop and other "non-classical" musics, so the number of performers and composers active in "classical" fields is likely to be a very small proportion of that "nearly 2,000".

illegal piracy cost the industry a great deal of loss.
And still it does! Indeed, the internet has made piracy so much easier and, as a consequence, so much more widespread. I do not, of course, blame the internet for that; responsibility lies with the users for whom piracy is a way of life.

It is a complicated process balancing how much each stream should be paid and how that money trickles down to the artist themselves I don't think any one of us here can really have any authority on that topic unless we are experts in the economics of it all. All we have to realize is that the numbers are growing each year where the physical medium of records have dwindled to such a rate that making a living off those is many times more difficult for those wanting to make a living from streaming their work.
Indeed, the issue is still in its comparative infancy despite the length of time during which streaming and the like have been possible but, even without detailed examination and analysis of the figures, it is clear that making a living from streaming is possible only for a very small proportion of artists in the "classical" field.

Of course there needs to be change to benefit the artists more but like I said none of us here are expert enough to actually layout exactly what that is.
Correct on both counts and there is certainly research being conducted into this as well as campaigning on behalf of artists, but I suspect that it will be some time before these anomalies will be justly addressed.

A further - if blindingly obvious - issue here is quantitative. The world's population is growing at a far smaller rate than is the sheer amount of recorded music, to say nothing of the sheer amount of music available. So far, humans die eventually, thus keeping something of a lid on population growth, but the amount of music available at any given time can only ever increase, yet listeners cannot realistically increase their available listening time to keep up with this; that has to have some impact.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #19 on: August 18, 2022, 10:34:01 AM
True, but tht iis in part down to some artists not being asked or having opportunities to make CDs for record companies; streaming is clearly more versatile and flexible in that respect.
What is stopping them from doing it? They can do it if they want to, it is just that the market for CDs has collapsed and you simply wont sell many thus the modernized approach is better for most. Music publishing companies will notice that there is more money to be made via streaming than CD sales and thus would push for that, why would anyone choose a medium which would not give them as much income?

Same answer as in the previous paragraph.
This does not contend with the fact that more musicians are making money from the non physical medium then CDs and such. There is nothing stopping them from selling CDs it is just that the market demand for such things has shrunk a great deal, what it has been replaced with however has offered more opportunity for more musicians than the physical medium which is now being eclipsed by modernised approaches.

Aye, there's the rub; c.1,000 times as many streams are required to generate the royalties that would be generated by a single CD.
And the vast majority of listeners of the stream would never buy the CD even if it were an option thus it is easier to make money from streams than selling CDs these days and is only growing every year. You are getting at least some money from consumers who would otherwise NEVER pay for a physical copy ever, since you are attracting a far larger pool of consumers than CDs ever would it tips to the favor of using streaming services rather than the physical medium these days.

This would appear to presume the need for vast quantities of streams compared to CDs
They are different mediums you are trying to compare. CD is a once off purchase where streams have a more consistent flow of repeated micro transactions over time and people who would never buy a CD even if it were offered to them still will use streaming services. You can also compare the video gaming market, micro transactions make companies a lot more than single payments to own a game, the music recording market also has caught onto this business model.

the fact that there are many more streaming possibilities than there are CD ones does nothing to make those figures look any better. "Nearly 2,000 artists in UK alone?"; if that's correct (and there's no obvious reason to doubt it), it is likely that many of them would be in the fields of rock, pop and other "non-classical" musics, so the number of performers and composers active in "classical" fields is likely to be a very small proportion of that "nearly 2,000".
There is no reason to doubt the facts from the statistics obvious or not. Classical music CD sales (even during CD heyday) only consist of around 2.5% of sales, so I don't know what your point is in this case comparing the small amount that exist in streaming too, it is only logical. More artists today are making money from their recordings than CD ever offered and that is only growing as time goes on.

And still it does! Indeed, the internet has made piracy so much easier and, as a consequence, so much more widespread. I do not, of course, blame the internet for that; responsibility lies with the users for whom piracy is a way of life.
The internet is the leading reason why CDs have collapsed, it is far too easy to copy music these days and distribute it, so the internet is the prime culprit. The streaming solution however combats this very well and people are willing to pay for streaming services out of the great convience of it all. If you can come up with a better solution then create it and you will be a billionare many times over, so far streaming is the only saviour to the music recording industry.

Indeed, the issue is still in its comparative infancy despite the length of time during which streaming and the like have been possible but, even without detailed examination and analysis of the figures, it is clear that making a living from streaming is possible only for a very small proportion of artists in the "classical" field.
One cannot suggest that CD sales offered more opportunity for artists to make a living from the sales by comparison to streaming, in fact the statistics say otherwise. Streaming however has allowed access to a good amount of sales for more musicians than CDs were making. WIthout streaming the recording industry would have collapsed further more which is not a good thing for the art of music.

Again I think it is important to reiterate that the transition from CDs to digital downloads had been shrinking the record industry leading to mass layoffs, and artist-roster cuts at major labels, streaming has changed all of this and there is nothing else better to save the industry thusfar.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #20 on: August 18, 2022, 10:45:39 AM
Another aspect of streaming v. CDs is the audiophile market, mainly in respect of "classical" material; whilst it's perfectly possible to connect a computer to fine audio equipment, many who rely mainly or wholly on streaming tend not to do this. That might change over time, of course.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #21 on: August 18, 2022, 10:56:20 AM
Streaming though is mostly done away from the computer, on mobile devices. You can research into many examples of this occuring, eg Spotify music streaming service is now more listened to on mobile devices than on a PC for instance. Heaphones or connecting to whatever other speakers you have thus becomes a lot easier. I have a pair of high quality Bang & Olufsen headphones which I can stream my music on the go to any time I want. Today you are not stuck listening to high quality production of music in your single living room set up with multiple expensive speakers. Most audiophiles prefer the sound of speakers, but many experts will argue that headphones more accurately convey the true sound of a recording. In any case you are not stuck behind a computer when dealing with streaming, if that was the case it hardly would be as popular as it is today.
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Recording media
Reply #22 on: August 18, 2022, 11:30:01 AM
My direct experience (obviously a touch anecdotal) is that my streaming sales from the official albums I have on Spotify are slightly greater over time than the online sales I have from CDs. Where CDs can be a genuine earner for the artist is after recitals, and this is presumably why many recording contracts offer the artist discounted or free copies of their CD; this also has the useful side effect of reducing storage space for the CDs which might otherwise be surplus to requirements after the replication process and initial burst of sales.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #23 on: August 18, 2022, 11:39:29 AM
Streaming though is mostly done away from the computer, on mobile devices. You can research into many examples of this occuring, eg Spotify music streaming service is now more listened to on mobile devices than on a PC for instance. Heaphones or connecting to whatever other speakers you have thus becomes a lot easier. I have a pair of high quality Bang & Olufsen headphones which I can stream my music on the go to any time I want. Today you are not stuck listening to high quality production of music in your single living room set up with multiple expensive speakers. Most audiophiles prefer the sound of speakers, but many experts will argue that headphones more accurately convey the true sound of a recording. In any case you are not stuck behind a computer when dealing with streaming, if that was the case it hardly would be as popular as it is today.
Mobiles as well as computers, of course. One advantage of streaming is the convenience of being able to listen on the move, but then that's not always necessarily the listener's preference, especially if the material being listened to requires considerable concentration. Headphones can indeed be very good but every audiophole to whom I've spoken prefers not only speakers but high quality pre-amps, power amps and the rest.

That said, as long as streaming services continue to offer the pitifully minuscule payment rates illustrated in the link to https://producerhive.com/music-marketing-tips/streaming-royalties-breakdown/ above, in which the worst cited offender, Deezer, requires around 1,100 streams to generate an income of one UK pound, many artists will struggle to make much more than a few hundred pounds annually at best; royalty payments are not the only issue here, of course but it remains a pressing problem and the more music that is created and recorded the worse it it likely to get.
Alistair Hinton
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #24 on: August 18, 2022, 01:46:05 PM
One advantage of streaming is the convenience of being able to listen on the move, but then that's not always necessarily the listener's preference, especially if the material being listened to requires considerable concentration.
The vast majority of music listeners can enjoy music without 100% focus and being on the go doesn't always mean you can't have occasions where you can give total focus to the music.

Headphones can indeed be very good but every audiophole to whom I've spoken prefers not only speakers but high quality pre-amps, power amps and the rest.
A very small minority of music listeners certainly not enough to influence any amount of sales of any given music recording medium. I would say my headphones beat the vast majority of set ups out there, even those which are thousands of dollars. Sound systems major advantage is volume but I don't need my ears to ring.

That said, as long as streaming services continue to offer the pitifully minuscule payment rates illustrated in the link to https://producerhive.com/music-marketing-tips/streaming-royalties-breakdown/ above, in which the worst cited offender, Deezer, requires around 1,100 streams to generate an income of one UK pound, many artists will struggle to make much more than a few hundred pounds annually at best; royalty payments are not the only issue here, of course but it remains a pressing problem and the more music that is created and recorded the worse it it likely to get.
We need to be careful not to totally support increasing the microtransactions price, if the streaming companies no longer operate with a good amount of profits (the same which we would like to see when physical medium was at its peak and we have still not reached that level with streaming) then the format will stagnate. If the format fails then the entire recording industry fails as listening to music for free online will simply take over (and a lot of people consume music just like that these days too). Like I already mentioned copying music is too easy these days and the vast majority of people will consume such products with no hesitation much more so than when tools to copy music and distribute it were not so accessible.

So we need streaming companies to do well, only then can the artists do better. I did mention that none of us are experts in the field of streaming marketing to really have any authority on the topic the real understanding of the economics and business management of it all requires specialist understanding. What we can be confident of is that at the moment more artists are making money with their recordings than before at least.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #25 on: August 19, 2022, 11:59:11 AM
none of us are experts in the field of streaming marketing to really have any authority on the topic the real understanding of the economics and business management of it all requires specialist understanding
Whilst that is of course true (and I'm sure is exercising the minds of those investigating how matters should be improved), one doesn't need to be a specialist expert in any branch of economics to recognise the differences between royalty rates on streams and those generated by CDs. Still - we'll just have to wait and see how it all works out.

Another issue - which I accept is only tangential to this thread (and therefore might be better considered on another one) - is the technological issues affecting score transmission. Having supplied such material in bound paper format for at least 35 years but, in 2009, I decided to scan every page of material supplied as .pdf files for ease of printing and to save physical space.

I was initially wary of supplying any of this material in .pdf format due to the potential risk of piracy but, following discussions, I decided to add .pdf format to everything that we supply (and the piracy risk of doing so seems to have been minuscule).

I would have thought that availability of .pdf files would pretty much have supplanted demand for paper copies. The advantages of the former over the latter are obvious - much lower production cost, ease and speed of transmission, lack of requirement for peripherals, absence of shipping costs and the rest - and the disadvantage (insofar as it is one) is that recipients have to print the files if they need to do so. In a decade, however, this has not proved to be the case; it has been a good move to offer scores electronically but I never cease to be surprised at the numbers of people who still prefer to receive scores in bound paper format.
Alistair Hinton
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The Sorabji Archive

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #26 on: August 19, 2022, 12:05:33 PM
... one doesn't need to be a specialist expert in any branch of economics to recognise the differences between royalty rates on streams and those generated by CDs.
It is obvious that the rate difference will be vast because they are two different products with very different qualities (CDs are a once off purchase where streaming is continual over time) still you will see more artists making more money from streaming than they did from selling CDs even when CDs were popular.

I would have thought that availability of .pdf files would pretty much have supplanted demand for paper copies. The advantages of the former over the latter are obvious - much lower production cost, ease and speed of transmission, lack of requirement for peripherals, absence of shipping costs and the rest - and the disadvantage (insofar as it is one) is that recipients have to print the files if they need to do so. In a decade, however, this has not proved to be the case; it has been a good move to offer scores electronically but I never cease to be surprised at the numbers of people who still prefer to receive scores in bound paper format.
Sheet music stores have been vaporised off the face of this earth left right and centre there are only a microscopic amount left behind, the PDF (and other digital formats) has utterly decimated the market. Before the internet I would spend hundreds every year on classical music scores and often wait months for them to arrive from overseas, today there is simply no need to do so and thank goodness for that!
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #27 on: August 19, 2022, 12:20:14 PM
Sheet music stores have been vaporised off the face of this earth left right and centre there are only a microscopic amount left behind, the PDF (and other digital formats) has utterly decimated the market. Before the internet I would spend hundreds every year on classical music scores and often wait months for them to arrive from overseas, today there is simply no need to do so and thank goodness for that!
Indeed so - but the point that I was making was that I would have expected the supply of scores in .pdf format to eclipse those for paper copies, for reasons such as those that you mention, but that my experience is otherwise; of course offering .pdf files has been a good idea and has enhanced our supply facility, yet some people still want paper copies, not least the music retailers whom we continue to supply (although we've never dealt with many of these).

We always try to ship paper material promptly so no one ever has to wait months, delays being down mainly to shipping times and Customs formalities, but the inevitable timescale and cost factors are such as would have led me to expect that hardly anyone would choose this method. Only recently, for example, I had to send a package of scores whose packed weight was just under 12kg for which shippng costs alone came to around 225, on top of several hundred pounds for the material itself, all of which could have been done for a fraction of this via .pdf.
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #28 on: August 19, 2022, 04:22:38 PM
... I wold have expected the supply of scores in .pdf format to eclipse those for paper copies
They do. There are far more people using PDFs and printing them off rather than buying books. I also don't know any physical music library that is bigger than IMSLP.org.

for reasons such as those that you mention, but that my experience is otherwise; of course offering .pdf files has been a good idea and has enhanced our supply facility, yet some people still want paper copies.
Just because "some" want the books still doesn't mean that electronic format have not mostly replaced this medium because it is clear that they have.

We always try to ship paper material promptly so no one ever has to wait months, delays being down mainly to shipping times and Customs formalities, but the inevitable timescale and cost factors are such as would have led me to expect that hardly anyone would choose this method.
I personally know 4 physical music book sellers from the past and they all no longer make anywhere near as much money from the sales of physical medium today, not a single one of them and one who focused on sales of books went bankrupt and his store is still empty to this day.

Only recently, for example, I had to send a package of scores whose packed weight was just under 12kg for which shippng costs alone came to around 225, on top of several hundred pounds for the material itself, all of which could have been done for a fraction of this via .pdf.
You can come up with these rare examples of people doing such things but it is like one grain of sand to the entire beach of consumers who would never do such things. It is plain to see that PDFs have crushed physical medium by far and a large majority of people learn the piano without ever requiring to buy a book. I personally purchase books (mostly from 2nd hand stores and libraries who are selling books for dirt cheap, this is because many people are literally throwing away music books) still but I am a rare consumer, it would simply be idiotic to suggest that just because in my reality it is still done that it means it is still flourishing all over the world. It is not, the vast majority of people wanting some classical music will simply go to websites like IMSLP and print off what they want. For teaching students I predominantly use digital sheets and especially for sight reading studies since I can find hundreds and thousands of pieces with no cost, something you couldn't do before the internet, this has enhanced education a huge amount because the material you can find is just massive. There is no way most students could afford a comprehensive sight reading syllabus and purchase every single piece they need to use, it would run into the many thousands of dollars.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #29 on: August 20, 2022, 08:04:48 AM
They do. There are far more people using PDFs and printing them off rather than buying books.
&c. I don't disagree. I am just relieved that I did not ditch all the facilities to make and despatch paper copies as I had initially thought that I might be able to do once I began to issue .pdf files; that's all.
Alistair Hinton
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Recording media
Reply #30 on: August 20, 2022, 08:22:21 AM
Yeah sure, there will always be someone willing to buy it. I am sure if one wrote music on stone tablets there would be someone buying that too :P
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Recording media
Reply #31 on: August 20, 2022, 09:01:06 AM
Yeah sure, there will always be someone willing to buy it. I am sure if one wrote music on stone tablets there would be someone buying that too :P
That I rather doubt - and I for one am not about to give it a try, especially as photocopying stone tablets would be quite challenging!
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
 

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