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At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

Posted by kdawson
from the trading-analog-dollars-for-digital-pennies dept.
The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"
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At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs

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  • Tough shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrbcs (737902) * on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:22PM (#25895307)
    Cry me a farking river! If these industry assholes would have got on the bus in 97, they may have a viable option now.
    They're so narrow-minded that they can look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time.
    The industry should have been the first out the gate with mp3's, giving the customers what they wanted and not what the record industry wanted to sell them.
    It's almost poetic justice, the record companies have screwed the artists for years and now they seem to be getting their comeuppance.
    I care for these assholes about the same that I care for that dinosaur car industry. Change or die!
    • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Simonetta (207550) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:32PM (#25895391)

      "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,'

      Jeez, you don't have to physically make anything anymore and you don't actually have to ship anything anymore. All you have to do is put up a web site and let people send you money...lots of money.

      But you're not sure if this incredible change in your cost-of-goods-sold structure is going to make up for your astonishing incompetence as an marketing executive?

      I don't know, guy, maybe you ought to be exploring career opportunities in fast-food-service industry. And let some unemployed electronics tech have a shot at your present so-called job.

      I couldn't do any worse than you are.

      • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mabhatter654 (561290) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:03AM (#25895619)

        because in the scale of record companies CDs are nearly free anyway. They're paid for as soon as they ship by record stores... then the stores have to worry about stock. The number of releases has cut way more than 37% as they only cater to the very large stores like Walmart and Best Buy... independent record stores that sold new bands went away long before napster came on the scene.

        • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:47AM (#25895907)
          I think it would help the CD sales if they'd stop shipping CD's that won't play in a computer.
        • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by philipgar (595691) <pcg2@lYEATSehigh.edu minus poet> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @01:52AM (#25896247) Homepage
          Your last statement is only partially true. The number of releases record labels make in a year has reduced, and they have started catering more to the very large stores. However, this was the case quite a bit before Napster came onto the scene, and the mp3 revolutionized the music industry. The large stores had started swallowing up the small. It is false to say that the small independent record stores are gone. There are still quite a few of them that flourish. The people who love music and are willing to pay for it often choose to go to the small independent stores, and always will. The store is far more about the personal interaction, and the recommendations that can be made there. What has hurt the small stores the most isn't the Walmart's and Best Buys who have small selections, low prices, and high volume, but the Amazon's of the world who have practically unlimited selection, and the benefits of scale that come with being so large that they can get lower prices. Many music fans have started shopping online for CDs they used to buy at the small independent stores.

          The large record companies shot for the gold in the late 90s by focusing on the big hit of the day kind of thing. Under such a market, they create demand for music, and sell CDs (albeit to a limited number of artists). However, when you concentrate on the masses and the hit of the minute, you lose out on loyalty. The loyal fan base that goes to the small independent CD stores didn't want to switch to buying CDs at Walmart, and they didn't care about the flavor of the month. They bought lots of CDs by bands that aren't particularly profitable to the labels (but tended to bring in a steady stream of income). The group that they won over with low prices at Walmart, and mass consumed discs has little loyalty, and why should they. They could care less where they get their music from, and napster is as good a place as any, but the price was right. Besides, who cares if the back street boys didn't make a few extra bucks, the bands they were pirating from had more money than they needed anyhow.

          At the same time this happened, many more of the smaller bands that struggled before said screw it to the major labels, and found that if they play to their niche they can end up okay. They'll never strike it big, but they can keep doing what they're doing. It used to be that no established artist would be on an independent label unless they decided to create their own. Today we have many many examples of well known artists with loyal fan bases going onto smaller labels that better support their needs. These places are still going strong, and still will. What the labels are crying foul on is the fact that they can no longer create millions of potential fans who will go out and pay $10-$15 (assuming walmart prices) for the mass produced crap that they're selling. That said, I imagine their revenue stream for the millions of ringtones they sell to people is earning them a nice chunk of money . . . Until people find an easy way to do that themselves that is.

          Phil
        • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @06:19AM (#25897597) Homepage

          A physical CD plus case and booklet is under a dollar to press in quantity, so the physical disc isn't actually a huge part of the price tag anyway.

          I so wish they'd get more into the Long Tail. Imagine record companies reissing their back catalogues as FLAC or Apple Lossless. They could sell them for a couple of bucks under the CD price and market it to record nerds who want obscurities it's infeasible to distribute physically.

          It's like they still don't understand they're not competing with paid downloads, they're competing with free.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        I love how they claim that they'll make their money from concert tickets, which is where the artist makes the majority and not the label.

        Whoops!

      • The real question (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @02:57AM (#25896633) Homepage

        âoeThe real question,â Mr. Rose said, âoeis how does the record industry change its rights structure so it captures a fairer percent of the value it creates in funding, marketing and managing the launch of artists?â

        Arguably, when the record industry lost their stranglehold on the various ways that the public could be introduced to new acts, their marketing and launch management value creation was significantly reduced. Furthermore, competing in the much larger pool of availble unlimited digital stock, one would naturally expect prices to compete downward.

        Also, the number of ways in which the record industry payout structure has been unfairly skewed towards the record labels is well documented. [salon.com] One would expect this to gradually tip downwards back to a more reasonable medium.

        In the grand scheme of things, a decent recording can be made at a 10,000 dollar studio, pressed at one of any number of professional CD producers, and distributed by any number of available distributers. Add in a 1,000 dollar HD video camera for youtube promotion, and you have a comparable music system powered by the creator's time. That's a highly efficient alternative that didn't exist ten years ago.

        Assuming our cultural music needs are being met, a 25% drop in overall spending on music could easily be because we have become 25% more efficient.

      • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @11:15AM (#25899721) Homepage
        Do big record companies even deserve to benefit from the growth of the new-technology sectors? Where was their investment in those sectors?

        The technology for "cloud" media distribution was developed and bug-fixed by the likes of Napster, not them. the whole MP3 infrastructure seems to have been put together by independent companies, research institutions and computer companies, with a notable absence of any record companies being obviously involved. Online music stores seem to be mostly developed by external companies. I'm not aware of any record companies behind the growth of the ringtone market. If you want to access databases of what's on your CDs, you don't go to the record company, you go to a database run by an independent company where the information is entered and corrected and maintained by volunteer end-users. Hell, Microsoft probably run a more reliable public back-catalogue for BMG than BMG do.

        When's the last time that any of us visited a record company website to find out a major artists back-catalogue? These guys are no good at websites. They'll pay someone big money to do a glitzy "promo" site that doesn't contain any useful reference information, and pull the plug on it a couple of years later.

        The big record companies say that they need to make big profits in order to find and invest in the next generation of talent, but the artists being found and nurtured by "the industry" seem to be supported by other industry "players". The big development recently has been TV talent shows, where there's a lot of money being made from tv broadcasting and pay-per-vote ... but the big record companies missed out on that money because it wasn't them that did it.

        What they are trying to do now, is to have contracts that give them a slice of things like tour money. They're trying to grab someone else's historic market share to supplement their income, by awarding themselves those rights in the recording contract. Again, this is a market where the big record companies haven't invested in the past - the gigging circuit has been kept alive by bands and promoters who recognised that gigging was essential to keep part of the customer-base interested in music. The big record companies essentially left big live venues to die, leaving it to others, like the mobile phone companies, to sponsor them.

        So if they're asking for a "fair slice" of the profits from music, they should be careful what they ask for. A lot of people think that their current profits represent way more than a fair slice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by deep_creek (1001191)
      "The industry should have been the first out the gate with mp3's, giving the customers what they wanted and not what the record industry wanted to sell them."

      What the industry should have done in the first place is provide music customers actually wanted to buy. I have continued to buy CDs over the years, just not RIAA crap. (How many CD's did you buy in the late 90's that was complete crap besides the one song they played on the radio 3-times an hour?)

      I buy non-DRM independent label stuff from the "loc
      • Re:Tough shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by penginkun (585807) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:50PM (#25895539)

        How many CD's did you buy in the late 90's that was complete crap besides the one song they played on the radio 3-times an hour?

        So there were NO good acts or albums from the late 90s? Seriously? None?

        I'm SO sick of this argument. The late 90s were a bonanza of awesome music. If you were wasting your time with top 40 pap that's your problem, and not really the fault of the record companies. The same is true today: there is an unending stream of incredible music being released by talented musicians and if you can't find it you've got nobody to blame but the person you see in the mirror every morning.

        • by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilbyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:26AM (#25895769) Homepage

          . . . and if you can't find it you've got nobody to blame but the person you see in the mirror every morning.

          The wife?

          • . . . and if you can't find it you've got nobody to blame but the person you see in the mirror every morning.

            The wife?

            Er, she's behind me. Or next to me.

            Fuck.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Macrat (638047)

          So there were NO good acts or albums from the late 90s? Seriously? None?

          Nope. Nothing at all. Complete wasteland.

        • True.

          and not really the fault of the record companies.

          Ah, but who do you think maintains that top 40 list? Who chooses the artists who will end up there -- and grooms them to be exactly the kind of crap they think will sell?

          You're right -- there's a lot of talent out there. So why doesn't the industry better support and promote the good stuff? Why do they, instead, shovel crap?

          Same thing happens with TV -- there's almost always something good on, somewhere. Something like, say, Firefly. Except they never seem to realize what they have, and so we end up with more Desperate Housewives.

        • In 1990 the music industry became a giant garbage recycling industry.

          http://www.xkcd.com/339/ [xkcd.com].

          Nothing original has been done since.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by theaveng (1243528)

          What's wrong with Top 40? I enjoyed the 1990s-era top 40 artists like Alanis Morisette and.... um, uh, well that's all I can think of right now. ;-) But that point is it's not all crap. There's some real talent hidden between the N'stynks and Britney Spears of the world.

          >>>(How many CD's did you buy in the late 90's that was complete crap besides the one song they played on the radio?)

          None. I learned my lesson in the 1980s to not buy albums, but instead wait for the "greatest hits" compilation.

      • What the record industry should have done is not spend the half century raping consumers (and for a fair chunk of that time artists as well). Vinyl, tape and CDs were massively overpriced for years, and only a fraction of that money ever made it to the artists. Some of the contracts were next door to usurious.

        There comeuppance has been on the way for a while, but the real irony is it's they who have done this to themselves. Instead of adapting to the new market conditions, they have instead basically tur

    • by WarJolt (990309)

      I care for these assholes about the same that I care for that dinosaur car industry. Change or die!

      The car and the music industry aren't the only ones hurting. Most of us have been impacted in some significant way. A lot of other people are hurting too and it's impossible to know exactly how much the music industry is hurting because of an economic downturn.

      Maybe it's time that the music industry got off their collective high horse and learned a thing or two about the economy. The car industry too. If the government bails out the music industry I'll be pissed.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      And you seemed to have missed the important part of TFA, which is this gem "now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours". allow me to translate "Not only have we traditionally paid the artist squat when it comes to CD and record sales, but now we are going to start sticking it in the contracts that if they want to get any radio or MTV time they better be ready to cut us a big chunk of that t-sh

  • CDs are digital! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:27PM (#25895345)

    Ummm... how are we thinking that CDs aren't digital?

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:29PM (#25895369) Homepage Journal

    Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to...

    How about just releasing everything world-wide, at the same time, instead of a handful of countries, or different dates for only a selected few countries? I don't care about your contracts and agreements, you're the ones who did that in the first place. It's your mess, clean it up. Your market is the whole planet, take advantage of this "new" fact.

    And that goes not only for music but for movies and TV shows too.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:31PM (#25895383)
      Not to mention video games, I mean seriously, there is a bit of a delay expected in translating from Japanese to English but from American English to British English? And most have to wait months for the game to come to Europe or vice versa.
    • Thank you! As an avid music/movie/video game purchaser for several decades who's lived in several countries, I never, ever understood this. Like walking into Virgin on Oxford Street looking to buy the Dune soundtrack.

      "It's only available on import."

      What the fuck does that mean?

      "25% more than a regular CD"

      Oooo-kay...guess I'm the only Dune fan in all of London, eh?
      • Yeah I agree its probably the biggest cause of piracy outside of the US - there just isnt any way to get it legally.

        Over here in Australia its starting to get a bit better.
        For popular shows its gone from lagging by several months to lagging a week behind.
        My mind boggles at why they dont just skip the whole week thing and do it on the same day.

        • Noticed that in Aus myself.

          Pity they cant manage to show episodes in order though.

        • by Nazlfrag (1035012)

          Not to mention the lack of titles such as Chrono Cross and FF Tactics. Thank god for emulators. The TV show thing I believe is just our stations being cheapskates - it costs more to get it earlier. Still makes no sense though for the majority of media, from cds and dvds through to games and cinema.

    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @04:37AM (#25897159)

      My thoughts exactly. Why not sell ALL music online, and allow everyone to listen to the entire catalog of music (for a fee of course)? There's so much material out there that it's impossible to pirate it all. I would say that only 10% of music is easily available from piracy. So if they provide a service which gives people access to ALL music, people will pay.

      Why do I have to pay $40 for a CD that's gone out of print 10 years ago? I'm not going to buy it at $40, but maybe for $10. But it turns out it's not easy enough money. The music industry is now subjected to full market forces and they're now crying about it.

  • by Tokerat (150341) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:30PM (#25895377) Journal
    I haven't seen a single new piece of vinyl (or CD, for that matter) listed on dancerecords.com since July.

    This happened very suddenly, and it's a bit startling for those of us who have invested in actual vinyl turntables...
  • by gavanm (79661) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:33PM (#25895405)

    There is an interesting paragraph in the article....

    The real question, Mr. Rose said, is how does the record industry change its rights structure so it captures a fairer percent of the value it creates in funding, marketing and managing the launch of artists?

    To paraphrase - we think the artists owe us more money

    • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:38PM (#25895441)

      There is an interesting paragraph in the article....

      The real question, Mr. Rose said, is how does the record industry change its rights structure so it captures a fairer percent of the value it creates in funding, marketing and managing the launch of artists?

      To paraphrase - we think the artists owe us more money

      To be optimistic, perhaps they simply realized that they take too much, and now want to give more to the artists?? Okay, so this is slashdot... set mod to funny.

      • by deraj123 (1225722) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:55PM (#25895577)

        Or just replace "fairer" with "fairer for us" - fairer doesn't really mean much in business anyways. It's not that they think the artists owe them more money. It's that they want to find a way to get more money out of the whole system. Honestly, if they weren't doing that, they probably wouldn't be doing their jobs. Sure, it's easy to look at the industry and say it's outdated, say they don't provide value anymore, and should die. But is it reasonable to expect them to just roll over and die? I know if it were me, I wouldn't. If I needed to make a certain amount of money to consider the venture "successful", and the total pie got smaller, then my option is to try and get a larger piece of the pie. The counter to them actually getting that larger piece isn't to have them ask for less...it's for the other people providing value to the business to say no.

        Sure, they're probably going about it the wrong way. I have to say, I think they're eventually going to fail. But that doesn't mean we should expect them to just give up. And we certainly shouldn't be surprised, or even appalled, when we hear about them attempting to stay alive.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by davester666 (731373)

          Actually, they do think they are paying the artists too much. They tried to reduce the mandatory amount of money per song they had to pay for royalties this summer as part of 'negotiations',

          And it's not like the labels looked at digital downloads and said, well, this gets rid of pretty much all distribution, transportation and 'loss' from the ledger, so we can just divvy up that money between us, the songwriter and the performers. They did the opposite. They are keeping all the extra money. They continu

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            by deraj123 (1225722)

            Actually, they do think they are paying the artists too much. They tried to reduce the mandatory amount of money per song they had to pay for royalties this summer as part of 'negotiations',

            If by "too much" you mean "more than they think they can get away with" then I agree with you.

            And it's not like the labels looked at digital downloads and said, well, this gets rid of pretty much all distribution, transportation and 'loss' from the ledger, so we can just divvy up that money between us, the songwriter and the performers. They did the opposite. They are keeping all the extra money. They continue to charge artists for so-called 'losses' (as a fixed percentage). They went over all their contracts, and picked out all the ones that were poorly worded, and then decided to pay those bands ZERO for digital downloads (songwriters still were paid, but not the performers).

            So...you expected them to generate revenue from this new business stream, and, without any sort of contractual obligation, give it away? They didn't "decide" to pay the bands ZERO - the bands' contracted were written in such a way that they didn't owe them anything, therefore the expected behaviour is to not give them any money. I'm not saying the contracts are fair, or just, or a good idea...but they do exist.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by davester666 (731373)

              >>Actually, they do think they are paying the artists too much. They tried to reduce the mandatory amount of money per song they had
              >>to pay for royalties this summer as part of 'negotiations',

              >If by "too much" you mean "more than they think they can get away with" then I agree with you.

              Yes. They have all kinds of fun legal and accounting methods to reduce or eliminate (or claim the band owes them money), suing their customers (as well as other random people, dead or alive) for copyright inf

        • The counter to them actually getting that larger piece isn't to have them ask for less...it's for the other people providing value to the business to say no.

          Sadly, isn't it true the labels can do pretty much anything they want with (to) new and unsophisticated artists? Don't most just sign "the contract" without reading it because "my God we're going to be BIG they're giving us a MILLION DOLLARS to record our first gold record!" The percentages and revenue sources in the contracts will simply change and it's done. No chance for ANYONE to say "no". I'll bet the labels [plexipages.com] as a matter of course helpfully refer new artists to a list of "independent" attorneys w

        • by mccabem (44513)

          Rule #1) The RIAA are f**kers and are only trying to figure out how they can continue being f**kers.
          Rule #2) I know it was intended as intelligent commentary (and it was even mostly taken as such), but absolutely no defending or apologizing for the RIAA or their members. They have plenty of lawyers for that, so let 'em continue doing their jobs.
          Rule #3) There's no Rule #3. Just read on...

          The recording industry probably served a purpose back in the stone ages [wikipedia.org] when all the current music people could

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by VisceralLogic (911294)
      Gubmint bailout... it's the obvious solution.
  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:35PM (#25895423)

    "It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical."

    Well, no shit. Their old business model of selling a $15 CD with 1 good song---aka ripping people off--doesn't fly anymore. If you just want that one song, you just buy that one song.

    Digital sales aren't going to match physical sales because--plain and simple--there's a lot of complete crap out there that people don't have to buy, anymore.

  • Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours.

    Meanwhile I think I'll go straight to the artists and the more relevant publishers/studios who work with them, and have a better understanding of the current industry and which don't have huge overheads in place that make them slow to adapt.

  • amazon (Score:5, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:47PM (#25895517) Homepage

    It's strange that nobody ever talks about Amazon. You can buy MP3's on Amazon for 89-99 cents per track, complete albums typically for about $8. I ripped all my CDs to mp3 this year, tossed the CDs in a dumpster, and am now buying music only on Amazon. I love not having piles of CDs lying around and making my house messy. Amazon sells music with no DRM. It works on any OS that can run a web browser.

    iTunes, on the other hand ... yeesh. It's a completely proprietary system, and it doesn't run on my OS. It's also got DRM (although the DRM is fairly easy to circumvent).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hashi Lebwohl (997157)
      For the approx 300 million people in the USA, perhaps. I wish I could use Amazon, I really do, but living in Aus prevents me. WHY can they not sell to people outside of the USA? I'm guessing it is again the record labels that impose this crap. Well, fuck you very much, RIAA, I'll just make my own, cheaper, arrangements.
      • Of course, though it might not be entirely legal, it would be pretty easy to arrange with someone inside the US. Like any other exporter, only much cheaper shipping.

        But that's the same mistake you usually only find DRM'd media making -- if you have to do something illegal anyway, why bother paying for the privilege?

        • by Warll (1211492)
          So while I'm breaking the law anyway why not save myself some money and send a message to the labels, that its their job to get the product to me!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by zymurgyboy (532799)
        Easily solved...

        1) Make friends with someone living in America with a *nix box

        2) Get US credit card

        3) ssh -D 6666 youracct@yourpal.com

        4) Configure SOCKS 5 proxy to get webby goodness from localhost on 6666 in Firefox network prefs

        5) Australia? Where the hell is that?

  • by mkiwi (585287) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:55PM (#25895575)

    I simply don't like the music produced right now, and I don't think I'm alone. In the 60's through the 90's, the defining part of each piece of music was typically the melody. We listened to things that had beautiful sounds and chords. We had thought provoking lyrics that read like poetry, or lyrics that one could simply associate with.

    Now music is so hip-hop/rap influenced that the only thing the composers seem to think about is the beat and the star-power behind each act. This commercialization + beat + weak melody is just not working a vast minority, if not a majority of music listeners. A song today probably only has a single catchy part that lasts a few seconds, and the rest is trash. We are expected to buy this music so we can hear the 5 seconds we like of a 3:30 min song. What about the song as a complete work of art?

    This problem has always existed, but before it typically showed up as filler in an album. Now the album has been scaled down to fit inside of one song, and it's just not a compelling experience.

    Really young people are going to like whatever is produced because they don't know anything better- that is certainly a big market. However, the music industry has almost completely lost the 18+ crowd by trying to cater to people who have relatively unestablished tastes. They got away from the fundamentals and they're getting severely burned. If they produced good work and were losing money to piracy, I would feel sympathy for the artists and even a little for the labels who do the sound engineering. Since their work is crap, though, I'm not spending a cent on any music they produce.

    • Meh. While I'm generally on your side (fave bands the Beatles and Led Zep for starters), looking at the ~500 4 and 5 star rated songs I have in iTunes that were released this millenium says that you're not looking hard enough.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by germansausage (682057)
      "the defining part of each piece of music was typically the melody. We listened to things that had beautiful sounds and chords. We had thought provoking lyrics that read like poetry"

      Speak for yourself dude. I was listening to Motorhead the whole time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by musicalwoods (1115347)

      I simply don't like the music produced right now, and I don't think I'm alone. In the 60's through the 90's, the defining part of each piece of music was typically the melody. We listened to things that had beautiful sounds and chords. We had thought provoking lyrics that read like poetry, or lyrics that one could simply associate with.

      Oh, that music is still being produced, just (mostly) not by the big recording companies.

    • by Macrat (638047)

      I simply don't like the music produced right now, and I don't think I'm alone.

      You mean you didn't buy the Dr. Horrible soundtrack?

    • You're so right.

      It seems like a large majority of bands start with a familiar chord structure they have heard before and are nice and comfortable with and then they improvise a vocal melody above it.

      That is shit writing. Come up with the melody first and whatever chords happen to fit go with it, plus you have options for chord substitutions because that isn't the driving part of the song.

      I V mIII IV

      I swear almost every song I hear these days uses that same god damn chord progression. I call it the "When I

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Now music is so hip-hop/rap influenced that the only thing the composers seem to think about is the beat and the star-power behind each act.

      Having recently seen an Umphrey's McGee concert, I can pretty confidently ask, WTF are you talking about?

      Maybe popular music is crap, but there a lot of music out there -- most of it independent, and some of it refreshingly new (not intentionally "retro") -- which is genuinely good, melody-driven, and artful.

      This problem has always existed, but before it typically showed up as filler in an album.

      Since people can now buy individual songs, it's harder to sell an album with filler in it.

      I consider that a good thing, overall. It means that if they're going to make every song mostly filler, I can te

  • Tag this one ripvanwinkle or rtfmripvanwinkle....

    Bajebus! Is this guy reading 5 year old newspapers? Can we all chip in and buy the RIAA a cake that says "welcome to the 21st Century" and underneath that 'dickheads'....?

    On the other hand, I thought we already had a noshitsherlock tag?

    It's good to see that someone is awake in this industry, after such a long nap, perhaps now is the time to really swing with the clue stick. What I mean is perhaps now would be a really good time to stage one of those 'day with

  • We've sent a very powerful message that says the buying public doesn't give a rip about audio fidelity.

    • What's that, son, you say the buying public dented a rapper's Audi Quattro?

    • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:38AM (#25895855)

      That message was sent 25 years ago. It was delivered on a cassette tape.

      • I don't think so.

        I stayed with tapes as a cheapskate, relishing in my lack of musical finesse. I just wanted a hundred of the things to stash in my car for road trips. But once CD's began to hit the flea markets tapes were finally on their way out.

    • I've done the reverse. I've stopped buying digital downloads (except the odd case of iTunes Plus content every blue moon). Now I try to only buy SACDs.
      • by fyrie (604735)

        I've purchased a few SACDs, but it seems to be more or less a dead format. Best Buy isn't carrying many SACD players these days.

        Perhaps the very small resurgence in LPs is a sign of hope.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      Have you listened to the clipping on a modern audio CD? [wired.com]

      You might have a point that convienience trums fidelity in this case, except that the labels have been throwing fidelity away for years.

  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <[ray] [at] [beckermanlegal.com]> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:27AM (#25895771) Homepage Journal
    Atlantic Records is one of the most common plaintiffs in the RIAA cases. (Here are some in which it is the first named plaintiff: Atlantic v. Andersen(Portland, OR) Atlantic v. Anderson (Houston, TX) Atlantic v. Boggs (Corpus Christi, Texas) Atlantic v. Boyer (Tampa, FL) Atlantic v. Brennan (New Haven, CT) Atlantic v. Dangler (Rochester, NY) Atlantic v. DeMassi (Houston, TX) Atlantic v. Does 1-14 (Portland, ME) Atlantic v. Does 1-25(New York, NY) Atlantic v. Howell (Phoenix, AZ)(pro se) Atlantic v. Huggins(Brooklyn, NY) Atlantic v. Lenentine (Portland, ME) Atlantic v. Myers (Jackson, MS) Atlantic v. Njuguna (Charleston, SC) Atlantic v. Raleigh (Missouri) Atlantic v. Serrano (San Diego, CA) Atlantic v. Shutovsky (New York, NY) Atlantic v. Zuleta (Atlanta, GA)...) As far as I'm concerned they should rot in hell.
    • Can we get a +1 Hero moderation option? NYCL is beyond Informative merged with Insightful into a class all his own.

      • Can we get a +1 Hero moderation option? NYCL is beyond Informative merged with Insightful into a class all his own.

        Thanks Tao. Much appreciated.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Falconhell (1289630)

      Hey, tell us what you REALLY think Ray!

      (-:

      Thanks for the great work you do!

  • But it may not have been because of piracy but because increased competition. Back in 1997 you had limited sources of music if you wanted to find no-name brand brand you needed to go to those shady music shops where you feel like it will be busted for a drug operation any second. But you were more or less limited to main stream media. That and combined with the fact that most music was played publicly back then vs. Now with an iPod or other portable music player. You are no longer ostracized for listening

  • Promotion is a mess (Score:3, Interesting)

    by failedlogic (627314) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @03:59AM (#25896909)

    The problem with the music business is the attempt to use money as the promotion medium. Yes it works. But it does not cater to individual tastes.

    There's a number of ways industry promotes itself. Commercial radio, newspapers, On-line - iTunes 'New Featured' albums, etc. There's magazines for Rock, Metal, etc that promote artists and include CDs of sample music - I have to think the labels push artists with $$$$$.

    I love music. I've a fine collection, IMO, of Rock, Country, Blues, Jazz and all kinds of other music. I almost always have music playing. The problem is, with my varying tastes its hard for me to find new artists I want to listen to. Without relying on Hit songs being the only measure of whats good (I do a select few of the current hit songs).

    My favorite albums though are from artits who don't get a lot of heavy promotion. Sad because the albums are playable tracks 01 to 12 or 15. And there's a quality and consistency to all the tracks. Sad to because they are signed on major labels and there's no backup - and if the album gets a 'bad' review from the press the label doesn't stand behind the artist. I almost feel like its done on purpose so they can focus on the 1 artist that will make them $200 million.

    I think the only option is for the labels to collaboratively build a Last.fm site. The 'community' has been building the site/database (I don't know all the ins and outs) for a few years. If the labels really want to keep fans interested, make sure they know about *all* your artists. Otherwise, why blow $200,000 on a new record and hope that it does well w/o any promotion.

    'Cause at this point I don't mind buying retail. I love it since I get the pressed CD. Just help guide my way to the register.

    With on-line I only wish the catalogs would expand so consumers can buy songs from 20 years ago even on not-so-well selling albums. You can't find them anywhere. And if you can the copy is $500. iTunes still has some major holes in its collection. I'm not talking about bands that sold 10,000 copies either.

  • by myxiplx (906307) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @04:48AM (#25897203)

    God, 9 years on and the record companies *still* don't have anything that's even close to Napster for ease of use and sheer range of music. My CD purchases probably have dropped off, but that's because for all that time I've been waiting for them to finally release a music download service that actually compares to the stuff I've already used.

    What they perhaps don't realise is that myself and many others would gladly pay for the music we listen to, but I'm not going to be tied down to listening to it x number of times, or on x devices, or with it limited to x copies. I also don't want limits on what I can and can't listen to. If I'm going to sign up for a paid service, I want to be confident that I can download pretty much whatever I want.

    Napster had all of that, and pretty much a monopoly on the download market. Makes you wonder what might have happened if the record companies had worked out a way of licensing tracks shared through it, instead of driving sharing underground.

  • As it should be (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <[mark.a.craig] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @06:34AM (#25897657)

    This is as it should be. Publishers and producers - middlemen all - never had any socially ethical right to all those "analog dollars" in the first place. The prospect that they might have to make do with "digital pennies" like the rest of us is a slight reversal of all that sickening concentration of wealth.

  • Get with the times (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TehZorroness (1104427) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @10:10AM (#25899009)

    CDs are now an archaic outdated media. There is absolutely no reason to carry them around when you can carry the same songs and artwork from hundreds of CDs in one tiny widget that fits in the palm of your hand. There is no reason why anyone should have to get in their car and drive all the way to the CD store just to look at a smaller selection of music then what they can listen to instantly and effortlessly over the internet. Digital distribution is so much more efficient, and environmentally friendly then shipping plastic coasters to every corner of the world. Need I go on?

    Now that the cost of production and distribution is basically zero, the price of the music should change to mirror this. There is no longer any work (just contracts and payoffs) being done by labels. There is no reason for a band with decent talent to depend on them any more. If you can afford a guitar and drums, save up some more pennies and get yourself a microphone. Do your own recording. Put it on bittorrent. Ask your fans to see your preformances and buy/donate - but don't force them and don't blame them for anything. They may have something more important to put their money towards, like paying bills, charity, or even buying their own guitar or mic. Artwork shouldn't be made for money anyway.

  • by nategoose (1004564) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @10:48AM (#25899405)
    I, like many of my peers, prefer my music on good old fashioned analog CDs.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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