August 06, 2002
The Internet Debacle

Janis Ian wrote two very interesting articles about the music industry and the "Internet Debacle" they "face":

The Internet Debacle

What makes them so interesting is they're coming from what I guess you'd call the "blue collar" portion of the music industry: someone who is a known, successful artist who makes a good (but not wonderful) living working hard entertaining people because that's what they love to do.

I can say for myself that I've stopped buying CDs because they're just too damned expensive. When they first came out, the prices were $17.99 and were justified because there were only two factories in the world capable of making them. Twenty years later the kind of back-shelf music I want to buy is still $17.99 (or higher), while AOL carpet-bombs the country with CDs cheaper than the bulk-rate postage they're mailed out on.

I got a CD player in 1984, a second-generation Emerson unit that was an absolute steal at $198.99 at the local Wal-Mart. As a teenager with disposable income and no rent, I ended up with the largest CD collection of anyone I knew for years. Whenever I had spare cash I'd always try to pick up at least two discs. One day my college roommate pointed out he always knew when I had spare cash because I brought home new CDs. It was then I realized that CDs were taking up all my spare cash. I think I've perhaps bought one or two a year ever since.

If I could buy four CDs and only spend $20, I'd pick up at least two a week for the rest of my life. You see, I'm one of those a**holes who can tell the difference between an MP3 and a CD, and I spent $$$ on a stereo system to prove it. The sound difference, to me at least, is huge. I'd love to pick up a copy of the Cowboy Beebop soundtrack, for example, because I downloaded a copy and really liked what I heard. But the only place I can find it wants $21.95 for it. $21.95 when I know it only cost $.05 cents to make. I just won't do it.

I once asked the rabid teenage music downloader I know (you know, one of the ones that are "crushing" a multi-billion dollar industry) if she'd be willing to pay $5 for a CD of any artist she downloaded for free. Without even blinking she said "absolutely".

Got the links from Jeff, who's going to need a new shelf for all the no-prizes he's getting.

Posted by scott at August 06, 2002 09:58 AM

eMail this entry!

I read both articles. Very interesing! The same thing happened with video tapes. When we bought our first VCR we copied tapes like crazy. Commercial copies of movies,when avaiable, cost $100 and up. Now you can get brand new, just released to tape, movies for under $20.00. I buy video tapes of old movies all the time. I am really buying them now since they won't be available except in DVD format soon. That's another story. I will be forced to purchase a DVD player that I don't want cause nothing will be available in video tape including the players.

Posted by: Pat on August 6, 2002 11:29 AM

A lot of people are commenting about how you can now buy DVDs of movies for less than what the soundtracks cost. A whole movie + lots of extra features is a far better value than a soundtrack. One wonders why the RIAA isn't suing the MPAA over it.

You'll like DVD players once you finally get around to buying them!

Posted by: scott on August 6, 2002 12:48 PM

I will NOT! I just figured out how to install my VCR and besides I will have to pull that ole heavy entertainment center out again. I pulled on it until I had chest pain to get the VCR installed. Truthfully, I just didn't think or I would have purchased a DVD player(I didn't mean that)instead I bought two new VCRs, well they are practically giving them away! I may buy a couple more for backups. LOL

Posted by: Pat Johnson on August 6, 2002 12:55 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?