The Playgoer: CD or not CD

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

CD or not CD

If you can get past the gatekeepers at Times Select, check out today's op-ed by my friends at NYCD on the "failed state" that is the music retail/CD business. Tony and Sal were particularly burned when they had to give up their brick & mortar a year ago and go online. But then Tower went completely belly up just months later.

Did big business (gasp) fail the art in this case? Money quote:

The sad thing is that CDs and downloads could have coexisted peacefully and profitably. The current state of affairs is largely the result of shortsightedness and boneheadedness by the major record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America, who managed to achieve the opposite of everything they wanted in trying to keep the music business prospering. The association is like a gardener who tried to rid his lawn of weeds and wound up killing the trees instead.

In the late ’90s, our business, and the music retail business in general, was booming. Enter Napster, the granddaddy of illegal download sites. How did the major record labels react? By continuing their campaign to eliminate the comparatively unprofitable CD single, raising list prices on album-length CDs to $18 or $19 and promoting artists like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears — whose strength was single songs, not albums. The result was a lot of unhappy customers, who blamed retailers like us for the dearth of singles and the high prices.

Read more here, or better yet--be a relic and buy CD's from them!

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