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Dave Beans

The Cd To Be Scrapped By Major Labels By The End Of Next Year?

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http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=46980_0_2_0_C

You read it well. The major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services. The only CD-formats that will be left over will be the limited edition ones, which will of course not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide anyhow.

3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment.

The news doesn't come as a surprise to those who have been working in the business. In a piece that was published in a q&a with the Alfa Matrix people back in June 2011 in the 1st issue of "Matrix Revelations", our chief editor Bernard Van Isacker said the following when asked if a CD would still exist in 5 years: "Yes, but in a different format. Normal CDs will no longer be available because they don't offer enough value, limited editions on the other hand will remain available and in demand for quite a few more years. I for one buy only limited editions because of the added value they offer: a nice design, extra bonus gadgets, etc. The album as we know it now however will be dead within 5 years, if it isn't even sooner. I predict that downloads will have replaced the CD album within the next 2 years. I don't see that as something negative, it just has run its course, let's leave the space to limited editions (including vinyl runs for bigger acts) and downloads instead."

It's a move that makes completely sense. CD's cost money, even when they don't sell because there is stock storage to be paid; a label also pays money to distributors when CDs get returned to the labels when not sold and so on. In short, abandoning the CD-format will make it possible to just focus on the release and the marketing of it and no longer focus on the distribution (since aggregators will do the work as far as dispatching the releases to services worldwide) and - expensive - stock maintenance. In the long run it will most surely mean the end for many music shops worldwide that only stock and sell CD releases. In the UK for instance HMV has problems paying the labels already and more will follow. It makes the distribution of CDs no longer worth it.

Also Amazon will benefit from this as it will surely become the one and only player when it comes to distribution of the remaining CD productions from labels. Packaged next to regular album downloads via its own Amazon MP3 service it will offer a complimentary service.

The next monument to fall? That will be printed magazines as people will want to consume their information online where they also read most of the news.

What are your feelings? is it a move that you like or not?

Update: We were approached by several people working with major labels, who indeed re-confirm that plans do exist to give up the CD. We keep on trying to get an official confirmation, but it seems that the matter is very controversial, especially after Side-Line brought out the story.

If true, sod if I'm paying £7 or £8 (the same price as a CD) to itunes for some inferior quality product...

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I'll venture to say that they will probably remain for any 'Serious music', purely because the fans and artists are only too well aware that you can't compress something down by (whatever fold it is) without loss of quality.

X-factor/Top 40 wannabees and their fans however... well, neither the 'artists' and the fans are likely to care, tbh, and I think this is what this is likely aimed at.

It's sad really: Up till the MP3 player, about 1995, advances were all about better and better sound quality. Whilst I embrace being able to carry around my music collection in my pocket, if I have it to hand, I'd never choose to listen to a download even over an old cassette tape.

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Music industry commits hari-kari again.

The reason why CD sales are declining is because people won't pay £8+ for something that only costs a few pence to manufacture, cut costs and charge £2 or £3 a CD and watch people buy them.

The other problem is the likes of Simon Cowell have done to music what Don King has done to boxing, killed the appeal. If you create a disposable industry don't start crying when people treat it as a disposable commodity.

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Music industry commits hari-kari again.

The reason why CD sales are declining is because people won't pay £8+ for something that only costs a few pence to manufacture, cut costs and charge £2 or £3 a CD and watch people buy them.

The other problem is the likes of Simon Cowell have done to music what Don King has done to boxing, killed the appeal. If you create a disposable industry don't start crying when people treat it as a disposable commodity.

Although Cowell is savvy enough to release the shite factor winner's single on CD (normally some horrific cover) for £3.99 a pop... For bands on certain smaller labels, I have no issue in paying seven or eight quid for a CD album. It would be interesting to see how the cut works - CD vs MP3/WAV...does the band get any more due to cutting out the middle man/men?

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Although Cowell is savvy enough to release the shite factor winner's single on CD (normally some horrific cover) for £3.99 a pop... For bands on certain smaller labels, I have no issue in paying seven or eight quid for a CD album. It would be interesting to see how the cut works - CD vs MP3/WAV...does the band get any more due to cutting out the middle man/men?

Why would established bands bother with middle men if they have no physical distribution costs?

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I'll venture to say that they will probably remain for any 'Serious music', purely because the fans and artists are only too well aware that you can't compress something down by (whatever fold it is) without loss of quality.

X-factor/Top 40 wannabees and their fans however... well, neither the 'artists' and the fans are likely to care, tbh, and I think this is what this is likely aimed at.

It's sad really: Up till the MP3 player, about 1995, advances were all about better and better sound quality. Whilst I embrace being able to carry around my music collection in my pocket, if I have it to hand, I'd never choose to listen to a download even over an old cassette tape.

I agree to a certain extent. However there is the possibilty of high bit-rate lossless compressed downloads. These would have intrinsically better sound quality than CDs. Some hi-fi manufacturers are already treading this path, having given up on CDs (I think Linn and Naim are two of them).

My concern would be just how portable these downloads would become. If each file was tied to a limited number of players then low quality mp3 files will continue their reign.

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Why would established bands bother with middle men if they have no physical distribution costs?

Perhaps they may move to this "model" in the future...they may think "why do we need EMI to produce our next three albums?" We could do it ourselves. I suppose the pioneers of this approach was Radiohead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows#Release although they quickly ended up releasing a CD version.

http://www.musicrooms.net/rock/42641-coldplay-break-digital-download-record.html

I read an article a while ago, whereby people are willing to buy singles digitally, but not albums. Its Interesting to see that around 40% of Coldplay's first week album sales came via the digital download.

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I agree to a certain extent. However there is the possibilty of high bit-rate lossless compressed downloads. These would have intrinsically better sound quality than CDs. Some hi-fi manufacturers are already treading this path, having given up on CDs (I think Linn and Naim are two of them).

My concern would be just how portable these downloads would become. If each file was tied to a limited number of players then low quality mp3 files will continue their reign.

Those people interested in high quality music will make sure that they've got the hardware and software that can handle them anyway, and those who are happy with a steady diet of low-quality crap won't be interested in either anyway.

Anyway, there's no point in developing a discerning ear. If I got the equipment and ear to notice the improved quality in some areas I'm sure that all it would mostly do is let me hear the flaws rather than benefitting.

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Compression is becoming increasingly unneccessary, because of increased storage capacity and Internet bandwidth. I have about 2,200 CDs on a 2TB HD Media player. Saves a HUGE amount of room too. The only concern is the quality of the DACS in the media player.

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http://www.musicrooms.net/rock/42641-coldplay-break-digital-download-record.html

I read an article a while ago, whereby people are willing to buy singles digitally, but not albums. Its Interesting to see that around 40% of Coldplay's first week album sales came via the digital download.

I've never bought a download, however I'd certainly never buy a mp3 album at current prices.

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Compression is becoming increasingly unneccessary, because of increased storage capacity and Internet bandwidth. I have about 2,200 CDs on a 2TB HD Media player. Saves a HUGE amount of room too. The only concern is the quality of the DACS in the media player.

I personally dont trust external HDs..I've ripped my music collection twice, on two different HDs, and they've both failed on me (not crap ones either)...

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Back to vinyl it is then. Ho-hum.

Which, in contrast to everything else, appears to be making a sustained comeback. I regularly buy new, re-release pressings of classic jazz and classical albums, and the range available seems to be increasing all the time. Not much sign of new recordings being published on the format, though. Interestingly, the shop window of a hi-fi shop just up the road from me is full of turntables and not much else.

As for CDs, I'm guessing that the record companies will sell ISO CD image files for download for people who want uncompressed versions and/or the ability to continue using their existing CD players.

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I've never bought a download, however I'd certainly never buy a mp3 album at current prices.

Digital version - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mylo-xyloto/id471339278

Physical - http://www.tescoentertainment.com/store/cd/coldplay-mylo-xyloto/8%3a779854/ (most likely to be shop price as well)

I wouldn't get either of them :ph34r: but I'd still get the physical version of any album...

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This makes me feel old.

I can still remember CDs on Tomorrow's World. Someone (Judith Hann) spreading butter and jam on one and rinsing it under a tap to demonstrate its "durability".

I'll venture to say that they will probably remain for any 'Serious music', purely because the fans and artists are only too well aware that you can't compress something down by (whatever fold it is) without loss of quality.

A friend of mine (with much better hearing) is always saying this.

I don't care about bitrates as long as it's LOUD!!!!

I personally dont trust external HDs..I've ripped my music collection twice, on two different HDs, and they've both failed on me (not crap ones either)...

I had an Iomega external fail on me. Great case, lousy innards. Now I make sure that my internal drives are the same size as my external so that there's room for the files exist in 2 places at once. I don't like having media files only in one location.

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I've never bought a track on itunes, so is the track downloaded on to your PC? What happens if your HD goes bang? Can you get your tracks back somehow? Spending a few hundred / grand, then finding out that they're lost forever would certainly be a kick in the knackers...

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I read an article a while ago, whereby people are willing to buy singles digitally, but not albums. Its Interesting to see that around 40% of Coldplay's first week album sales came via the digital download.

Probably because Amazon made it their MP3 of the week and sold it for £3.99, vs the £9.99 it was in the shops.

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Probably because Amazon made it their MP3 of the week and sold it for £3.99, vs the £9.99 it was in the shops.

Are their figures used to compile official sales? I remember that Rage Against The Machine christmas thing, and people were told not to buy from Amazon, as they didn''t count (because they sell tracks at 29p each, and not 79p).

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I've never bought a track on itunes, so is the track downloaded on to your PC? What happens if your HD goes bang?

I bought a couple of tracks, years ago. I can't play them any more as I can't get the DRM to work.

Not having iTunes installed might have something to do with that.

I installed iTunes at the time and it tried to take over my PC. "iTunes will now set itself as the default for xxxx. iTunes will now set itself as the default for yyyyy". No choice, no please.

Righto I thought, I know how to fix you.

Uninstall.

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"3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment."

I'll believe it when they actually make an official statement.

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If I were a guessing man I'd predict that they will try to add value and then prevent alternative distribution.

Currently CDs can be copied and shared by anyone in any quality. I expect they will continue to support MP3 (128 bit) as their low quality download option, then try to promote a high definition format with high bit-rate and DRM protection.

With CDs unavailable you would have no choice but to choose between low quality portable, or high quality non-portable.

And for high quality non portable they could charge a significant premium..

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I like CDs but they do take up quite a bit of space, and the smashed plastic cases are becoming quite a pain now.

I quite like buying the CD, especially if the booklet is good etc. I agree though that they take up LOTS of space. My room is JAMMED full.

To be honest I rarely buy them nowadays as I listen to the radio a lot (which isn't always so great) or can just chuck a tune up on youtube.

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It's all a con, selling the same old things over and over! The way albums are mastered now for mp3 are pretty much entering distortion...muddled bottom end and on!

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This makes me feel old.

I can still remember CDs on Tomorrow's World. Someone (Judith Hann) spreading butter and jam on one and rinsing it under a tap to demonstrate its "durability".

Surely you could do that with a record?

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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