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back to article Official: British music punter still loves plastic

The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year according to the BPI, despite falls in revenue from sales of CDs and music videos. Amazingly, CD revenue fell only 6.4 per cent in 2013 year on year - and still forms the backbone of the industry. A full £365.4m out of the total of £716.8m comes from CDs and videos. …

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Any explanation

Why a cd of Dark Side still costs 15quid?

Have they recouped the mastering costs yet?

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Gav
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Boffin

Re: Any explanation

Because enough people will pay 15 quid for it, making it the optimal sale price for manufacturer.

Stop confusing the cost of producing something with its market price. That's not how the entire capitalist system works. Cost of production is only where you start pricing something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Any explanation

In fact that's completely not how capitalism work...

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Re: Any explanation

£8.78 at BASE.com, £9.30 at AMAZON.com. Perhaps shopping around might help you.

I do wonder why the download is £10.49 at AMAZON.

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Re: Any explanation

Buy it 2nd hand off "fleaBay" for £1.50 (+P&P)!

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Owning music on CD and vinyl

is an insurance for me to know the music is mine, even when streaming services goes titsup or my hard drives goes crashing.

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Re: Owning music on CD and vinyl

Trouble is that with movies, the DVD/Bluray sales are holding back content owners from selling content to streaming services. At least with music they have long since given up and have allowed DRM free downloads so we have a good choice.

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Re: Owning music on CD and vinyl

Totally agreeing on the benefits of physical media vs downloaded. However, if the price were the same, or better, I'd be quite willing to buy lossless-format albums on some form of SD card or USB stick.

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WTF?

"Digital recording revenue first overtook physical in 2012."

Is this some new definition of "digital" I hadn't heard about? Back in the days when CDs were first introduced the argument was always that the sound quality on these "digital" recordings was different to that on the analogue vinyl albums. Have CDs suddenly become analogue recordings? Or are people being lazy & using the word "digital" to describe downloaded, virtual copies?

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"Or are people being lazy & using the word "digital" to describe downloaded, virtual copies?"

Exactly that, yes.

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Don't complain too much

or they'll start calling it CyberMusic!

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Sir

It looks like they may try to force a new selling model on the streaming services.

In a weird way I can understand where they are coming from (as far as A list titles that fans are prepared to pay more for being bundled along with everything else).

Perhaps in the future we will see a tiered pricing structure from the streaming services. lower levels giving full access to everything but the A list stuff, and higher levels giving increasing access to more A list (i.e. expensive) stuff per month.

I don't think I'd mind this, since it would inevitably make expensive music less popular and give more attention to gifted, yet little known, artists, whose music can still be heard for a lower price (until they get big and price themselves out of the market).

I've always found something a bit screwy about someone making a song, and then profiting from it for every time it's heard, practically forever. I re-read my books all the time, but if I had to pay again I certainly wouldn't.

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Re: Sir

" I re-read my books all the time, but if I had to pay again I certainly wouldn't."

How about if the original purchase price was 15p instead of £7.99?

would you pay 15p per subsequent read?

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Re: Sir

I, for one, won't even if it's just 1p. It's a matter of principle.

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Anonymous Coward

Not too surprised

There is a swathe of Britain that hasn't gone for digital downloads yet - don't understand / too fiddly to arrange on mobile phone etc etc.

Quality/format can be an aspect, and not just for music. The most recent Doctor Who lost episode finds were released on iTunes. They don't have the interlacing that the DVD delivers. I can also get other episodes off iTunes, they don't have the value added material (eg mini-documentaries)

And there's the "what do I get aspect."

I buy a digital download - I get the "rights" to play it on my devices and a bunch of bits that I can copy onto my home network

I buy a CD - I have something that I can see, loan to a friend, put on in the car, sell at a car boot if I tire of it, AND that I can also convert into a bunch of bits on my home network

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Re: Not too surprised

The recent lost Doctor Who DVDs didn't have any VAM extras either. They were however in whatever the standard SD horizontal resolution is as opposed to the reduced count that iTunes pumped out. (Or so I've been informed. I'm not in a position to peer into the garden.)

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Pint

Re: Not too surprised

I love buying CDs as the bands, the ones that actually care about their music, make a real effort to make an "experience" out of owning the recording. You get a nice inlay, lyics, sometimes access to extra stuff for download. You get peace of mind to know you have a physical backup of something if your MP3 collections gets lost

When I ordered a CD from a French-Canadian metal band they sent me the CD, gave me access to the 320K MP3 and FLAC versions of the tracks, a couple of extra tracks that weren't on the CD and finally put my name into a free draw to win some goodies from guitarist! All that because I bought a CD direct from the band's website, you wouldn't get any of that from bloody Amazon or iTunes!

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Holmes

DRM has done a lot of damage to purchasing digital music.

See the icon -------------------------->

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Anonymous Coward

Digital downloads are too expensive for what they are. Excluding brand new releases I often find a CD is cheaper. When it comes to brand new releases I find the download versions often only carry a 50p or £1 discount. A CD is much more versatile since I can convert it into an MP3 but also just pop it in any Hifi or car cd player etc.

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re: I can convert it into an MP3

If you are some sort of pirate terrorist you can.

It's people like you insisting on buying only one copy of a record and listening to it in many places that is killing music - well that and home taping.

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Re: re: I can convert it into an MP3

And transcribing Pianola rolls.. you MONSTER!

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C30 C60 C90

Go!

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Re: re: I can convert it into an MP3

"If you are some sort of pirate terrorist you can."

"It's people like you insisting on buying only one copy of a record and listening to it in many places that is killing music - well that and home taping."

It's the labels that are killing music having turned it into talent manufacturing process and paying artists as little as possible for their efforts. That and the assumption that consumers would eagerly empty their wallets to pay for the same content multiple times to play on various audio equipment.

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Anonymous Coward

FYI all downloads are digital, there have never been any analogue or other types of download. Everything bit of data is digital. Just say 'download' and drop the digital bit.

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"FYI all downloads are digital, there have never been any analogue or other types of download. Everything bit of data is digital. Just say 'download' and drop the digital bit."

Not when I used to download from the radio onto a C90 it wasnt :)

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Analogue download = Radio1, a tape recorder, a C90 and the Sunday chart countdown.

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Re: C30 C60 C90

C120

Snap!

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Facepalm

It is hardly surprising

A combination of DMA and natural mistrust (hey I am paranoid) of media companies to retain your access to music says it all. Does anyone else remember the great success of those self destructing DVDs (no need to return to base). I buy it, I own it - at least I want to own the right to carry on listening to it. So for the moment, physical backup it is......

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Sometimes they're also cheaper

Just as with physical books (delivered) sometimes being cheaper than $10+ e-books, physical CDs (delivered, or store-bought) are sometimes cheaper than buying sometimes DRM-infested MP3s.

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It is all packaging

I was in Portabello Road last year and one place was displaying LP from the 60s and 70s. They wanted premium prices £100+ for the things, mostly they were selling the LP sleeves, 'cos you can pick up the CDs and mp3 for a few quid. It is doubtful that in 40 years time they'll be a place displaying CD cases with similar price tags.

Whilst at the time us old hippies would have denied that we were buying packaging it seems that we were, and that we still do, even in the days of CDs. We still want that insert no matter how scant the extra information it contains is. Would you buy John Fahey's 'Yellow Princess' or 'Voice of the Turtle' with or without the liner notes? Given the choice would you rather Roger Dean artwork on an LP or in a CD?

Last night I was listening to something and though damn who is that piano player, I have the CD so could quickly check it out, not so easy with something streaming.

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Re: It is all packaging

Your logic re buying packaging is impeccable - now if only the music industry could see what is under their noses.

I remember a radio interview long ago with a veteran performer (forget who now) who said the industry missed a trick when CDs came in. What they should have done, he reckoned, was release CD albums in LP sized packaging. Then there would still be space for a decent sized bit of artwork and an added bonus would have been that record shops wouldn't have needed to go to the expense of replacing their shelves just to be able to sell the things.

Roll on 40 years and the advent of downloads and the same industry has again missed a trick. There is no reason why a download couldn't come with decent artwork, photographs and sleeve notes. The industry could have got together to set a standard that iTunes and the like could support.

But they haven't.

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The Price of everything, The value of nothing

Ah! The gatefold sleeve. Weird artwork.Sometimes rude (by the standards of the day) pictures. Lyrics.

Slide the album off the shelf, Open the sleeve and slide the record in its liner (sometimes printed too!) out.

Careful! Make sure those fingers go on the label not on the disc itself! Use the edges to place on the deck.

Lower the tonearm and listen for that slight crackle as the stylus locates in the groove. That "live" sound of the turntable bearing and then bliss.

Sorry, I lost myself there.What I was going to say was that I remember that the record companies moaned at the time about how much the sleeve and its notes cost. It just shows you that they never had much of a clue about what they were actually selling.

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Re: The Price of everything, The value of nothing

"Lower the tonearm and listen for that slight crackle as the stylus locates in the groove. That "live" sound of the turntable bearing and then bliss."

- Well to be fair, it was the last music format on which you could skin up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Price of everything, The value of nothing

Oh yes indeed.

"And I wonder why I do not care

For the things that are, like the things that were."

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Holmes

Yeah no.

...CD players offer a ubiquitous and universal standard for playback...

Someone's forgotten Sony*'s numerous perversions...

* There were others messing with the standard as well, but Sony was the most visible, and arguably the most aggressive.

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Re: Yeah no.

Yes, I remember that and the rapping SONY got from the market for their shenanigans.

Luckily for me, they were mostly "protecting" the kind of music which did not appeal to me in the least, so my PC was spared being rooted by them. However, I am still trying not to forget to hold SHIFT down when putting any new CDs into my PC.

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Re: Yeah no.

Of course nobody who just played CDs in a CD player had any trouble with naughty root kits.

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Trollface

"The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year"

What ?!

What happened to all that PIRACY ? I thought BPI/MPAA/RIAA/et al was being ROBBED BLIND by all those cheapskates who STEAL THE MUSIC.

And yet the CD market grew.

Man. Maybe the world isn't coming to an end after all, eh ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year"

Piracy has never really been an issue, they just like to pretend it is.

Also one of the main reasons people still buy cds is because the big record labels try their darnedest to fuck the digital distribution industry every chance they get.

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Re: "The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year"

I'd suggest you get your sarcasm detector retuned, Anonymous.

(That was a joke - there aren't really sarcasm detectors)

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: "The UK recorded music industry grew 1.9 per cent last year"

The music industry has been quieter about piracy recently because it wants to be loved. My advice to them is don't worry about being loved, just make yourselves useful.

Piracy has distorted the market sufficiently to make a difference. It is just one of many factors in the overall decline. Recordings' "wallet share" began to decline in 2001, then live share increased. It's harder to get into a gig for free.

http://prsformusic.com/creators/news/research/Documents/AddingUpTheUKMusicIndustry2010.pdf

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Vinyl

There is something ritualistic and tactile about vinyl that has yet to be surpassed. It compels one to listen more actively. Even more so if you embark on a 7" binge.

This was quite the revelation to me. I've had years of 'shuffle all' playback. These days I harvest FLACs and have spent some money on speakers etc. so the quality is there, but the listening is primarily passive. There's no anticipation, no sense of occasion.

CDs will ultimately be destroyed by the cloud, IMO. But I bet there will still be 2.4% vinyl sales.

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Re: Vinyl

I would totally agree with you here. I bought 3 CD albums this year and 4 Vinyl albums: Manic Street Preacher's "Rewind The Film" and Bruce Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball" and "High Hopes", Rage Against The Machines eponymous album were all on vinyl.

The sound, to me, is much warmer - that is the only way I can describe it. The sound of old vinyl and new vinyl both have that slightly audiable rumbling or hum in the background which makes it more real I suppose. Turn it up loud enough and close your eyes you could imagine being in the recording studio when the album was made.

By rights, I am part of the generation that is downloading MP3's and listening to it on iPods. But in all honesty this is done for portability. I can stick the iPod on in the car or listen to the CD. Vinyl, as you say, is more of an occasion. And I'm sure we've all been there on a Saturday/Sunday evening with a 4 pack of your own poison listening to various vinyl records.

For as long as they will make them I will continue to buy vinyl albums where and when I see fit. And if, one day, they stop making them I will continue to collect vinyl from all ages, long before I was even a twinkle in my grandmother's eye.

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Once you have lossless downloads CD's will be less popular, but for now the real audio lover will buy CD's.

Myself, I buy MP3's because when the source is my phone, an MP3 at high bit rates is good enough...

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Anonymous Coward

"Once you have lossless downloads CD's will still be as popular, the real audio lover will buy to own CD's, not licence music temporarily."

FIFY

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The CD format is crap aurally. Fortunately for most people it doesn't matter as they can't hear the difference, they can't hear the difference with an mp3 either if the truth be told. You can destroy the confidence of an audiophile with a £15 car amp, a 192K bitrate mp3 and a pair of early 70s speakers. As a HiFi magazine editor said to me the other year, with a little bit of hype you can always sell big heavy boxes to idiots for big bucks.

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Gav
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Signal corruption.

There are no apostrophes in CDs or MP3s.

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Anonymous Coward

they can't hear the difference with an mp3 either

True, because due to the mechanics of the human ear nobody can hear the difference if the bitrate hasn't been reduced to silly levels.

MP3 isn't inherently evil, it just allows for human physiology, just as "moving" pictures do with a succession of still images, and colour TV does with a bandwidth-limited chrominance signal. Sure, many people like to imagine that they can hear a difference, just as they have to convince themselves that their litz-wound oxygen-free gold-plated speaker cables are worth the silly money they paid for them. Wishful thinking doesn't make it true.

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You can only hear the difference if you have something to refer it against. In other words you would need the studio master to know whether a piece of spinning plastic is authentic to the original or not. That and a decent hi-fi and 'good' hearing.

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Same is true with photography. People will tell you that you need at least a £600 - 700 lens for macro photography. Bullshit you can it do with a £35 clip on lens. Put the two side by side in a controlled environment and yeah the £700 lens will out perform the £35 one. At the bottom of a damp ditch following some beetle up a swaying grass stalk and its all about technique, the £700 lens ain't gonna help.

Same with audio put two bits of equipment under test and the more expensive will seem to be better. Put them both in the average living room, and you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference.

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