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Are the days of independent CD releases over?


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Good point. Plus there is more competition for the attention of the members of the population. When I grew up, music was pretty much all we had. Either that or stay at home and watch the one TV set with our parents. It was the glue that held our generation together.

 

As time goes on things change. It's best to adapt to the change. It will mean losing some things that are dear to you, but there are new live-enriching things around the next corner.

 

I still want to own the music, but I'm a musician. I'll rent DVDs from Netflix and return them in the mail (my connection is too slow for streaming). Some friends of mine have collections of DVDs. They are both working actors. They want to own the acting performances.

 

What the general public does with their music is not what a musician does. As long as I can get the music I want and burn it to something more permanent, I'm happy.

 

The up side of digital is that CDs that have been long out of print are available to purchase and download. Then I can burn them myself and get music that wouldn't be available to me otherwise.

 

I know burning CDs is not permanent, but then neither is vinyl. No matter how well you take care of it, it wears and eventually loses high frequencies, gathers surface noise and it might even develop a skip.

 

So with the resurgence of vinyl, the young people will begin to understand the phrase my parent's used when I repeated something too often, "You sound like a broken record" :D

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Cool story, Bro...

 

 

 

 

said no one, ever.

 

 

not sure who you're being snarky to and why.

 

 

 

me?

 

 

in any case, CD stores shut down eons ago, and CD sections in stores like Best Buy are almost all gone. CD's are two generations of music delivery ago, replaced by downloadable purchased songs, replaced by streaming. Funny to even have this discussion. sorry if that sounds offensive :idk:

 

 

I guess people still generate CD's for merch, and every now and then people give you a CD of their band, but it's been years since I've listened (or most people have listened) to one. :bounce022:

 

 

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not only haven't I listened to a CD in years, I haven't seen a "is the CD dead?" discussion in years.

 

this was all sorted out years ago, with the CD long dead and buried. smiley-wink

 

Okay, so go beyond that - how are you distributing your music to your fans at shows? Downloads, thumb drives, emailed links to streaming sites - or do you instead suggest sticking with other types of merch (t-shirts, stickers) and just forget about about trying to encourage people at shows take some of your music home with them?

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Yes CD’s are dead. I gave all my CDs away 8 years ago. My Ram truck doesn’t even have a CD player. We don’t have a player in the house either. I have a couple hundred of my records left. I haven’t brought them out to any gigs in years but I was thinking of just bringing them and giving them away. The Indie artist has lost a big piece of their income and as yet there is no replacement other than begging for crowdfunding which has never sat well with me. All of this and other industry changes caused me to stop writing music before I moved out of Nashville 4 years ago? What’s the point anymore? It was to try to get it out there, get people to listen, buy records try to get cuts..I accomplished my personal writing goals so what’s the point. My music business doesn’t exist anymore either.

 

and yes I’ve been a subscriber to Spotify for many years but full disclosure, I rarely listen to it other than for learning band tunes. I have Sirius in my truck and listen to that a lot but it’s 70/30 talk/music.

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I have original works that would probably give me at least 3 of the older vinyl LPs, or about 50 songs and instrumentals. In 73 I had a partner and we were into the acoustic scene. We had a respectable following and an investor who was pushing us into the studio to cut those albums. It was all very glamorous and eye-opening for a couple 18 y/o kids but we were managing to keep it real (avoiding the drug scene and keeping it sane). I might still be into it if making music was something I took seriously. But, I didn't and at 19 took a different direction. My partner was pretty shot about that and completely distanced himself from me from that day forward.

 

I still consider music something I wholly enjoy playing but I'm not a listener by any measure. I just can't bring myself to do that. I listen but what I hear is usually with a critic's ear, for the most part. I just can't drop that aspect of listening and simply be entertained. That said, I think of my own music as the same kind of fly paper and dismiss any seriousness to its marketability. The production of media to promote it would be no different than buying lottery tickets. So, I currently loft into the cloud a bunch of little one-take sample shorts I record on a Flip camcorder just to expand beyond the cubical that confines and defines my world. It's no more than a throw-back to the day I was a kid and one with the music scene. I have been asked if I have CDs but those questions are diminishing as the technology renders them into antiquity with their preceding brethren.

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Okay, so go beyond that - how are you distributing your music to your fans at shows? Downloads, thumb drives, emailed links to streaming sites - or do you instead suggest sticking with other types of merch (t-shirts, stickers) and just forget about about trying to encourage people at shows take some of your music home with them?

 

 

 

it's reversed with time.

 

before, shows existed to sell music. now, music exists to sell shows.

 

you don't need to encourage fans to take some of your music home with them because they already know how to do that, and it's likely your music, which they already have, that has encouraged them to see your show.

 

again, it used to be shows --> music, but now it's music --> shows.

 

to directly answer your question, fans get music from youtube, social media, and earned media (news or other coverage that directs fans to online music sources).

 

CD's basically send the message: "don't listen to me. throw me out," and have for a long time.

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you don't need to encourage fans to take some of your music home with them because they already know how to do that, and it's likely your music, which they already have, that has encouraged them to see your show.

 

again, it used to be shows --> music, but now it's music --> shows.

 

 

I agree - for established bands. I don't believe that's true to the same extent for local, unknown artists. They're the ones who need to get the listeners to "take home" their music somehow, and to spread the word to their friends. How do you suggest they go about that?

 

 

 

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I agree - for established bands. I don't believe that's true to the same extent for local, unknown artists. They're the ones who need to get the listeners to "take home" their music somehow, and to spread the word to their friends. How do you suggest they go about that?

 

 

 

 

 

that's really not how it works anymore.

 

if a listener likes what they hear, they connect with your instagram, your youtube, your social medias, which in turn can spread to their friends.

 

that's actually something social media does a million times better than a CD.

 

you're at a concert, you like something, you take out your phone and connect.

 

handing out a coaster doesn't really help.

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I should have asked this as part of the original post, but do any of you subscribe to a streaming service like Spotify? If so, has that impacted the amount of time you spend listening to CDs?

 

 

I've had some form of on-demand paid subscription streaming since about 2005. I dreamed of online distribution even back in the early 1980s when I was in recording school and read an article or two on future distro (in that scenario, though, folks focused on sales of digital files). I hated the gatekeeper aspect of the labels and the limited and exploitative distro options we had for physical product in those days. At every step, some non-musician suit stuck his hand in the music creators' pockets. Deep.

 

I've been on 7 services. I find online streaming to be, overall, the best music platform I have experienced.

 

But that is NOT in any way to say that such services could not be greatly improved in many small and not-so-small ways.

 

For one thing, the streaming paradigm directly underlines the lack of any meaningful, usable average level indexing system (like, say, ReplayGain, aka RG). Without that, you go from some 1930s track from the Boswell Sisters to the latest Skrillex and they might just be going to be peeling you off the wall of the room in back of you. The service I'm on, Google Play Music, is pretty good -- for me the best I've found (haven't tried Deezer or Apple) -- but they use 320 mp3s encoded by the Fraunhofer codec -- and it is simply not as good as LAME-encoded 320s (at the high quality setting) which I have demonstrated to myself via ABX testing of captured streams in which I could reliably differentiate Google's 320s from 320's capture from the old MOG service (whose 320s were encoded using LAME). The LAME stuff just sounded differentiably better.

 

[You Tube Music, part of the package I get by subscribing to GPM, is an absurdly undeveloped package that simply cannot compete with GPM or probably other services -- but it does have video integration, where GPM's video implementation is simply YT vids in the search returns; clicking on one fades down and pauses the current stream and switches to the vid; when it's over, it switches back. (WHY can't they implement the same fade-in/out on regular pause and skip functions??? You have to ask Google. And, of course, they never answer.)

 

Amusingly, I seem to have been inducted in some form of Google Help BB 'helper drone volunteer' program because I've answered a number of product questions their own official reps couldn't/didn't. But it's a laughable joke. I'm only in there because I'm incredulous that a 'smart' company like G can be so bloody clueless at times.

 

 

I could go on (as old-timers know) but I have 3DW/realtime encumbrances to deal with.

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that's really not how it works anymore.

 

if a listener likes what they hear, they connect with your instagram, your youtube, your social medias, which in turn can spread to their friends.

 

that's actually something social media does a million times better than a CD.

 

That might make you a slightly bigger tiny fish in a very large pond but it doesn't bring you any money. People who get their music from social media become fans of social media, not necessarily fans of the artist. If you're a local artist in Indianapolis, all the Facebook friends in Brooklyn and Nashville and Los Angeles aren't contributing to your new microphone (or new shoes for the kids) fund. When they come to a show or order a CD, that's ten bucks in your bank account.

 

 

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that's really not how it works anymore.

 

if a listener likes what they hear, they connect with your instagram, your youtube, your social medias, which in turn can spread to their friends.

 

that's actually something social media does a million times better than a CD.

 

you're at a concert, you like something, you take out your phone and connect.

 

handing out a coaster doesn't really help.

 

Depends on your market.

 

I deal with over 40 adults, yacht clubs, country clubs, and so on. Most of these don't stream.

 

And to Social Media people, they believe everyone in the world is on Social Media. The problem is, Social Media is exclusive, everybody is NOT there. I know dozens who refuse to participate in the voluntary spyware game that is FaceBook, Twitter and the others.

 

Social media is exclusive, the general web is inclusive.

 

If you are on FB, only those on FB can find you. If you have your own website anybody with an Internet connection can find you.

 

Can you imagine how much fewer business Amazon.com would have if you needed a FaceBook account to access it?

 

Streaming works for those who like it, but again that isn't everybody, and from what I read, you get the tiniest fraction of a cent per play and you are competing with mega-millions of other songs out there, many from well know artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and so on. You might be even better than these folks, but how are millions of people, enough to make you rich, going to find you?

 

You won't make money streaming or with CDs unless you spend tons of money in promoting. So you have to decide if the cost:profit ratio is good for your music.

 

But honestly, for 99.9999999% of musicians, the money made is in live performances in front of a live audience. For a short period of time, around the 1950s to the turn of the century, you could make a lot of money with recordings. But much fewer than 1% of the musicians ever did.

 

Even those who recorded, the on-hit or one-CD wonders probably never even broke even. I know when Motown was courting us in the late 1960s, and offering us 2 cents per record, out of our royalties came inflated recording costs, inflated promotion costs, and inflated distribution costs. Our manager figured we would have to sell over a million albums on our first release to end up not owing Motown any money. When he tried to get a bit more than 2 cents per record, Motown quit talking.

 

Making money from recording is a fantasy for well over 99% of the people who try it.

 

Get your axe, get in front of people, and gig. That's where the money is for most of us. Use recordings as promotional tools for your live shows. They are good tools for that.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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That might make you a slightly bigger tiny fish in a very large pond but it doesn't bring you any money. People who get their music from social media become fans of social media, not necessarily fans of the artist. If you're a local artist in Indianapolis, all the Facebook friends in Brooklyn and Nashville and Los Angeles aren't contributing to your new microphone (or new shoes for the kids) fund. When they come to a show or order a CD, that's ten bucks in your bank account.

 

 

 

forgive me, but I would guess that you're probably over 60.

 

That's not an insult, it's perspective.

 

When you say "people who get their music from social media become fans of social media, not necessarily fans of the artist" I'm not sure what that even means.

 

People who get their music from social media become fans of the music. AND this leads to income .

 

You say:

 

"If you're a local artist in Indianapolis, all the Facebook friends in Brooklyn and Nashville and Los Angeles aren't contributing to your new microphone (or new shoes for the kids) fund."

 

Of course they are, and in many ways!

 

The question was how do you connect with fans after a show? The answer is social media. Social and earned media. That's today's world.

 

CD's? You might as well be selling wax cylinders. :idk:

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If you are on FB, only those on FB can find you. If you have your own website anybody with an Internet connection can find you.

 

Can you imagine how much fewer business Amazon.com would have if you needed a FaceBook account to access it?

 

Amazon has around 350 million accounts.

 

Facebook has around 2.25 billion accounts.

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If I were in the mood to go play a concert or three (which I'm not), I'd whip up a really nice run of records and some really great sleeves and sell them just like the ohneeders did. At this point in time, the only thing I see of interest in physical-land is a little black spinning piece of gizmo with grooves in it that make sound when a needle skims over the top. Everyone likes watching those things go round... so... that's what I'd make cuz that's what attendees would buy. imo. If I were in the mood.

 

I have no financial incentive to license my work for streaming.

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forgive me, but I would guess that you're probably over 60.

 

That's correct. So I've seen a lot of changes in the music industry. An "album" was literally an album when I was growing up. A bound collection of four or five 78 RPM records - eight or ten songs by a single artist or on a single theme! Wow!

 

When you say "people who get their music from social media become fans of social media, not necessarily fans of the artist" I'm not sure what that even means.

 

That was kind of awkward, I'll admit. What I was trying to say was that social media has become the publicity outlet for music, replacing radio. But because it's interactive (beyond calling the radio station and asking them to play your favorite record) people can talk directly to the artists (or at least they think they are) but that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll buy more product. It's not that the artists have found that Facebook, etc. is a better way to advertise themselves, it's nearly the only way.

 

People who get their music from social media become fans of the music. AND this leads to income .

 

Sure, in the sense that any publicity is bound to produce some income. But how much? When does keeping social media-active become worth the trouble for an artist, rather than being a responsibility?

 

You say:

 

"If you're a local artist in Indianapolis, all the Facebook friends in Brooklyn and Nashville and Los Angeles aren't contributing to your new microphone (or new shoes for the kids) fund."

 

Of course they are, and in many ways!

 

Give me a few examples. How much of your income can you attribute to social media? I'm not talking about Jay-Z here, I'm talking about a music hobbyist who would like to make enough money from his music to support his hobby. How long does it take after you post a new song on your Facebook page for you to get your next $1,000?

 

The question was how do you connect with fans after a show? The answer is social media. Social and earned media. That's today's world.

 

CD's? You might as well be selling wax cylinders. :idk:

 

There was a question? You connect with your fans after the show by hanging out afterward, talking with them, and signing the CDs that they buy because they want to show you that they care about what you have to offer and hope that you will continue to do it.

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But honestly, for 99.9999999% of musicians, the money made is in live performances in front of a live audience. For a short period of time, around the 1950s to the turn of the century, you could make a lot of money with recordings. But much fewer than 1% of the musicians ever did.

 

Making money from recording is a fantasy for well over 99% of the people who try it.

 

Get your axe, get in front of people, and gig. That's where the money is for most of us. Use recordings as promotional tools for your live shows. They are good tools for that.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

 

I believe you've really nailed it. The days of the big recording rock star were just a blip on the radar screen. Before the Beatles, radio singles were the norm. The early LP's were cobbled together so that the suits could take advantage of the popularity of the Beatles and the Stones. Suddenly it was required to have a full length record and a lot of those ended up with useless filler material. Now it seems to me we've come full circle in that when you go to amazon or wherever you just download the single you want to hear.

 

The allure of the publishing/copyright income gravy train is certainly appealing and I imagine there'll always be some big recording acts but most of us will be stuck in vaudeville if we choose to pursue music for profit.

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this:

[h=2]How Does Live Music Industry Revenue Compare to Recorded Music?[/h]

Recent data and projections for the next few years have shown an upturn in music industry revenue as a whole for the first time since the advent of digital downloads. Much of this increase has come from rapid growth in streaming services revenue. But revenue from live performances and tours has been consistently growing for years now.

 

According to Midia Research, the live music industry accounted for 33 percent of overall industry revenue in 2000, compared to 53 percent attributed to retail recorded music. By 2016 that number shifted dramatically — live music garnering 43 percent as opposed to recorded music's dwindling 38 percent. Moreover, Midia reported that 59 percent of an artist's annual revenue came from live performances, compared to 9 percent in music sales. The effects of this shift can be seen in most artists and bands turning to concert tours as their primary source of income. Where performances were once a vehicle for increasing record sales, they are now a driving force for the music industry as a whole, providing substantial income for artists and entertainment industry professionals alike.

 

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And there are billions that don't do Facebook as well. It's still exclusive. There are 7.1 Billion Internet users https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm so less than 3% of Internet users are on Facebook. All 7.1 Billion users can access any site on the net that isn't being censored.

 

If only FB people could buy from Amazon, 2/3 of their sales would theoretically drop.

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Give me a few examples. How much of your income can you attribute to social media? I'm not talking about Jay-Z here, I'm talking about a music hobbyist who would like to make enough money from his music to support his hobby. How long does it take after you post a new song on your Facebook page for you to get your next $1,000?

 

you're simply thinking about it in an old paradigm that doesn't exist anymore.

 

the question that Phil asked was essentially how do fans connect with you and consume your music after the show. I'm answering that -- that's all online now, via social media, Youtube, instagram, streaming, etc.

 

Optical media, on the other hand, is dead.

 

As far as making money, as others are posting in this thread, income streams have shifted. An online presence connects you with those new streams.

 

And if you're a hobbyist, income is irrelevant. Just make music for the pleasure. :idk:

 

 

There was a question? You connect with your fans after the show by hanging out afterward' date=' talking with them, and signing the CDs that they buy because they want to show you that they care about what you have to offer and hope that you will continue to do it.[/quote']

 

 

Maybe 10 years ago, for bands of a certain size. Nowadays, all that happens online.

 

 

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