Record biz news

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John F
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Record biz news

Post by John F » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:39 am

Surprise! Though since sales of LPs and cassettes had fallen so low, it doesn't need many units more to make a big percentage. It seems that music sales overall are soaring, and I have to wonder at that. Of course it's non-classical music that's driving the market, but if there are any blockbuster acts today like the Beatles and Michael Jackson, I don't know about them. (Which isn't surprising.)

Vinyl and cassette sales saw double digit growth last year
But physical album sales were still down overall
By Jon Porter@Jon Porty
Jan 6, 2019, 9:41am EST

Albums sold on vinyl and cassette both saw double digit sales growth in the US last year, according to a new report produced by BuzzAngle (via Genius). Vinyl sales grew by just shy of 12 percent from 8.6 to 9.7 million sales, while cassette sales grew by almost 19 percent from 99,400 to 118,200 copies sold in the US. It wasn’t quite the 41.8 percent growth seen in music streaming, but it’s still very impressive for two formats that are decades old.

The popularity of both physical formats seems to be being driven by sales of older albums. BuzzAngle reports that over 66 percent of vinyl sales are of albums that are over three years old, with releases from Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd all featuring in the list of the bestselling vinyls from last year. Although a 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy compilation album claimed the top spot once again, this appears to be the exception rather than the rule.

Cassette sales do seem to be driven a little more by newer releases, but the majority sold (52.5 percent) were still over three years old. However, the report noted that just under 32 percent of sales were of albums that were under a year and a half old, compared to around a quarter of vinyl sales.

Despite the increasing popularity of older formats, physical album sales are still in decline overall thanks to CDs. The small digital discs are in the unfortunate position of having all of the drawbacks of physical media with none of the retro appeal, and retailers including Best Buy are increasingly refusing to stock them. Although they continue to be the most popular physical format with over 60 million sales, CDs declined by 18.5 percent in popularity last year, leading to a total decline in physical album sales of over 15 percent.

Ultimately though, the continued growth of streaming meant that music consumption increased overall throughout the course of the year. The popularity of audio streams increased by a massive 41.8 percent last year (the biggest increase of any area) and accounted for three quarters of the music industry’s revenue as of September 2018.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/6/18170 ... cd-decline
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Record biz news

Post by maestrob » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:29 am

Am surprised about the cassette sales figure: I thought that commercial cassettes had died out years ago. Still, less than 500,000 is a low figure indeed.

The figures for vinyl are astonishing, and welcome. I prefer CDs myself, but the news that collectors are buying a physical format in such quantity encourages me to think that some of my rock and jazz LPs might have some value is encouraging, especially since the new albums sell for $20-$30 each. I've seen quite a few new classical releases offered in vinyl format on amazon, though I'm not a buyer.

What saddens me is the decline in CD sales. Don't people get that collecting is a hobby, that CDs last for a lifetime in better sound than any other physical format? AND, if sales continue to decline, no one will make them? That said, I suspect that we classical collectors will continue to be catered to as a niche market, in spite of declining sales in popular music. I wonder what sales figures look like in classical? BBC Magazine continues to review 110 CDs, DVDs and books/month, and still offers a sometimes excellent CD with each issue. Hmmmm.....

Thanks JohnF, for posting that.

Belle
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Re: Record biz news

Post by Belle » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:53 am

I was at my sister's place in Sydney on Friday and she was showing me her new hi-fi system, which includes a turntable, amplifier, 2 speakers and a digital streaming box (cannot think of another name for it - but it may include a DAC) in one end of the house (and she was listening to a jazz program streamed from Seattle, Washington!) and which connects to a TV - and another television with sound bar and additional speakers in the other end of the house. The digital device is operated by an App on her phone!!

The vinyl jazz recording sounded fantastic on her system, I have to say. OK, she doesn't have classical music in her collection but she listens mostly to (non-contemporary) jazz and popular music. The jazz is just like the type in the following links and the house is always full of it with phenomenal sound quality (streamed radio or otherwise). It is essentially pleasant, 'atmospheric' music, in the main, and always makes me feel like I'm in a ritzy restaurant! (You see, my mother used to play this type of music on the piano in a famous local restaurant.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM6jR-GGDgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KpIV57PSeo

My sister has quite a few vinyl recordings and, as far as I can tell, very few CDs. There is a huge resurgence of interest in vinyl, it seems, and the quality is mostly excellent.

barney
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Re: Record biz news

Post by barney » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:42 am

I'm just trying to work out how to sell all my LPs. I haven't played one for at least 3 years. But I want at least $1 per LP!

Lance
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Re: Record biz news

Post by Lance » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:27 pm

Bbbut, Barney, $1/LP is nothing! Vinyl is being priced today at two- to three times the price of a CD. As someone pointed out, however, that the vinyl market seems to be lent to music other than classical. Still, vinyl is being produced for classical music. Given my 70,000+ LPs, like you, I rarely play them today, even on my radio program, whever I have CD counterparts without pops and clicks that still plague older LP issues. At my age, I, too, am very concerned about what is going to happen to my LP collection, not to mention books and CDs. I am not interested in having someone come and "cherry pick" just the rare LPs, but buying the entire collection for what I expect would be a tidy sum! Am I dreaming?
barney wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:42 am
I'm just trying to work out how to sell all my LPs. I haven't played one for at least 3 years. But I want at least $1 per LP!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: Record biz news

Post by John F » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:02 am

I doubt a dealer would offer you much more than $1 per used LP. Their business depends on the profit margin, and while they might make some serious money from reselling the rarities, the other thousands of records might not sell at all.

A panel on this subject, "WHAT DO I DO WITH MY STUFF? PERSPECTIVES ON ARCHIVAL DISPERSAL," was held at the ARSC 2014 conference, and I downloaded a recording of it - 78 mb, too big to share or email. It's since been taken offline, but you can get it by joining ARSC.

http://www.arsc-audio.org/pdf/ARSC_memb ... ochure.pdf

An abstract of the session:
What will happen to your collection when you’re no longer collecting or when you’re no longer around to collector anymore? This panel will explore the fate of your collection from the viewpoints of a collector, a dealer, an institutional representative, and an attorney specializing in personal estates, all of whom will shed light on what to do with your collection. The moderator, a long-time collector himself, will provide a personal perspective on his own collecting and collection.

Among the questions to be considered—and perhaps even answered—are: 1.) What is in the collection? Does it contain unique materials or items that cannot be found elsewhere? These are factors that an institution, for instance, will want to know about specifically if that is the intended destination. 2.) How much is the collection worth? Has it recently been appraised? Is it cataloged or inventoried? How big is the collection? Is it in a closet, in a basement, partially or completely full, or stored off-site? 3.) How does the collector feel about the collection? Is it the result of a life-long quest to acquire everything relating to a specific topic (cf. Italian music), or instead, a candidate for the next episode of Hoarders? How do the collector’s family/loved ones/heirs feel about the collection? Do they just want to get it out of the house, or are they (or the collector) prepared to provide it with the proper care, including financial support and preservation?
A member of the panel, Steve Smolian, is a dealer and appraiser. He lives in Maryland but his web page says "Have computer, will travel."

http://www.recordappraiser.com/

If you want to see how dealers sell what they buy (and the prices they ask), Larry Holdridge's annual list is a good place to start. As you'll see, the LP section of his list is quite small and the prices are pretty low, though since this is an auction he might wind up getting more.

http://www.holdridgerecords.com/
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Record biz news

Post by maestrob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:44 am

There is a flood of classical LPs in the market, right now. I had the owner of Academy Records over to evaluate my LP collection, and all he was interested in was European pressings for a few dollars each. He told me that he has a warehouse full of classical LPs, and that the old pressings are not selling in his store. This past Christmas, he had boxes of classical LPs near the front of the store labeled "FREE, please take some"! Very discouraging! I recently donated half of my collection to a homeless man who sells records on the street, and he's not come back for the other half.

Very discouraging! :(

Lance
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Re: Record biz news

Post by Lance » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:03 pm

It IS very discouraging. Frankly, I would rather burn all my LPs than to let them go for a dollar, two, or three apiece. You might try the Japanese market. They are heavy into vinyl for classical music. Why vinyl hasn't taken the course of pop music for connoisseurs I do not know. But I must admit, too, that it is rare for me to listen to LPs very often these days.
maestrob wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:44 am
There is a flood of classical LPs in the market, right now. I had the owner of Academy Records over to evaluate my LP collection, and all he was interested in was European pressings for a few dollars each. He told me that he has a warehouse full of classical LPs, and that the old pressings are not selling in his store. This past Christmas, he had boxes of classical LPs near the front of the store labeled "FREE, please take some"! Very discouraging! I recently donated half of my collection to a homeless man who sells records on the street, and he's not come back for the other half.

Very discouraging! :(
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Seán
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Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Record biz news

Post by Seán » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:39 am

Lance wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:03 pm
It IS very discouraging. Frankly, I would rather burn all my LPs than to let them go for a dollar, two, or three apiece. You might try the Japanese market. They are heavy into vinyl for classical music. Why vinyl hasn't taken the course of pop music for connoisseurs I do not know. But I must admit, too, that it is rare for me to listen to LPs very often these days.
maestrob wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:44 am
There is a flood of classical LPs in the market, right now. I had the owner of Academy Records over to evaluate my LP collection, and all he was interested in was European pressings for a few dollars each. He told me that he has a warehouse full of classical LPs, and that the old pressings are not selling in his store. This past Christmas, he had boxes of classical LPs near the front of the store labeled "FREE, please take some"! Very discouraging! I recently donated half of my collection to a homeless man who sells records on the street, and he's not come back for the other half.

Very discouraging! :(
Oh gentlemen, I would dearly love to get access to your LP collections.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

jserraglio
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Re: Record biz news

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:03 am

Image

absinthe
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Re: Record biz news

Post by absinthe » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:33 am

Something I can applaud as I no longer buy CDs unless one is a must-have and there's no other choice (and there aren't many of those). I'm happy enough with streaming if I can't get it on vinyl. True, sometimes one has to buy a pre-owned copy but most "classical" enthusiasts treat their records with a degree of care and I've only had one disappointment buying one such.

We already had a turntable and a few LPs in the family. Some have never been reissued on CD. Besides, there's more of an occasion about 'putting a record on' than slapping a CD in the tray. LPs come with a need for care, cleanliness, styli maintenance and so on. I still have some CD-4 records to be played with a Shibata-tipped stylus. Too late in the day vinyl improved enough to compete with CD sound quality but many reissues these days are on high quality vinyl.

All good news then. Now, how about reissuing the Mercury and Living Stereo sets on vinyl. Whoever does has a buyer waiting!

.

maestrob
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Re: Record biz news

Post by maestrob » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:38 am

jserraglio:

I'd say your project has been shelved! Great photo! :lol:

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