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post #1 of 31 Old 01-02-2020, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Music sales according to medium

Its kinda cool to see it in this kind of context. It also shows that listening habits have changed (most likely due to age in demographics were singles have out sold entire albums) .

https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-02-2020, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3db View Post
Its kinda cool to see it in this kind of context. It also shows that listening habits have changed (most likely due to age in demographics were singles have out sold entire albums) .

https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/
Interesting chart.

I just started buying CDs again after many years as I resurrected a CD player and, truth be told, streaming doesn't hold a candle to CDs.

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post #3 of 31 Old 01-02-2020, 05:43 PM
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Interesting chart.

I just started buying CDs again after many years as I resurrected a CD player and, truth be told, streaming doesn't hold a candle to CDs.
I really like physical media. It seems if there's now a sell off of CDs by those who have embraced streaming, much the way LP collections were dumped after the CD revolution; this is a good time to buy used.

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post #4 of 31 Old 01-02-2020, 07:41 PM
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Crap. I'm getting really old.

I'm still stuck at re-adopting vinyl.

I snickered at people buying 8-tracks the past few years, where you couldn't give them away 3-30 years ago. My first car had an 8-track. I had an adapter for cassettes.

And then record stores started charging a premium for cassette tapes. And I think the same things that people have been saying behind my back about vinyl for years... I don't even have a player anymore and don't want one... good riddance. Ugh. The hiss and the FFW/REW. And the inevitable tape tangle. But man, those mixtapes and party tapes I used to make.

And now CDs are coming back?! I haven't even had time to throw them out.

Now my youngest son in college is swapping out a magnetic HD in the original iPod with a TB Micro SD card because MP3's will be cool again after CDs finish their resurgence.
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-02-2020, 08:12 PM
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What the chart doesn't show is the amount of music listened to over the radio, which I assume has been declining as streaming has emerged. As mobile data plans have gotten much cheaper, that has helped push streaming. So, in short, some of the streaming is offsetting radio in addition to the other formats. Portability and ease of access seem to be the drivers of change.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 03:39 AM
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I've been browsing used CD stores in my area. Lots to pick from. I still by new as well although very few places really carry them anymore. I can remember in the 90s the place to buy them was best buy. They had about 8 aisles of CDs in my store. Now I buy from amazon.

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 05:56 AM
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Well, I'm not in the 'young' demographic, but that chart seems to match me. I dumped vinyl for CDs starting in 1988. Started downloading a while ago. Now subscription streaming. Physical media (and the equipment to play it with) is just clutter to me. Bits is bits. My whole physical collection now fits on a 512GB flash drive, and if my Amazon HD had the 10% of my collection that's missing I'd do away with my computer hookup altogether and stream everything directly from Alexa. No extra physical source equipment at all.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 07:12 AM
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^I stream more and more, particularly in the car. I still listen to my own FLAC files when at home and sitting down for a listen, but I find myself less and less inclined to put in the work of ripping CDs, tagging files, etc. Convenience is king.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 10:06 AM
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If anything we're past "peak used CD" here in the Bay Area, the few remaining music stores dedicate more shelf space to vinyl and specific CDs that used to be hard to find but reasonably priced [out of print hip hop and electronic in my case] is now in the $50-100 collector range*. That said there's still a ton of good stuff in the bargain bins if you know what you're looking for or are willing to take a chance. I do most of my shopping at Amoeba/Rasputin in SF/Berkeley and a combo of Discogs and Amazon Marketplace for specific stuff. There's still a ton of good music available sub-$5 plus shipping.



*short money, IMO since CDs can rot and I know people playing records from the 1930s.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 04:46 PM
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Those charts remind me of this video of changing music genre preferences over time. Its off topic, but thought you'd enjoy. Also, can't remember where I first saw this, maybe someone here posted it recently..




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post #11 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post
Those charts remind me of this video of changing music genre preferences over time. Its off topic, but thought you'd enjoy. Also, can't remember where I first saw this, maybe someone here posted it recently..



Interesting. Lots of surprises for me. Too many to remember but the last surprise for me is how Country is LESS popular within the last 5-10 years than I would have anticipated. I thought Country would come out near the top, but actually it's lower-middle of the pack (of this ongoing top 11 genre list).
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-03-2020, 07:04 PM
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^ Cool video! JAZZ burst on the scene around 1925 I see. Curious what it was, I looked it up: some say Louis Armstrong and his "Hot Five" ensemble. Coincidentally also the first recorded scat improvisation supposedly because Armstrong's sheet music fell off the stand which he was reading from:

Back then they were recording straight to disc, no magnetic tape to rewind/erase, so there were no re-takes for minor errors. You crossed your fingers and completed the song no matter what.
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 11:53 AM
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I guess I am not too picky with how I get my music. I bought an album last week and today I bought and downloaded a single. 300-400 cds at home and 4TB drive thats full (but I need to give that back). I do the free streaming for casual listening but I don't do a paid subscription unless my Amazon Prime counts.

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post #14 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
^ Cool video! JAZZ burst on the scene around 1925 I see. Curious what it was, I looked it up: some say Louis Armstrong and his "Hot Five" ensemble. Coincidentally also the first recorded scat improvisation supposedly because Armstrong's sheet music fell off the stand which he was reading from:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksmGt2U-xTE

Back then they were recording straight to disc, no magnetic tape to rewind/erase, so there were no re-takes for minor errors. You crossed your fingers and completed the song no matter what.
I'm a huge Louis Armstrong fan. Most experts say he was at his peak in the Hot Five and Hot Seven period, and they might be right, but the sound quality of those recordings is so poor (due to technology constraints, not poor choices by Louis) that I really have a hard time listening to that era. The recordings from 1950's and 1960's are shockingly good. He still could play trumpet at virtuoso level until the mid to late 1960's -- I don't think he lost a step (in fact I think he gained several, but most jazz critics don't agree).

I've never heard Louis miss a note in live recordings, so I doubt the one-take was an issue for him -- but that process is about as stark a contrast as there could be to today. In modern recordings, each track is often individually recorded, then it is rerecorded and patched many times until they have perfect cut, and then it is manipulated with effects before it is all mixed back together with all the other tracks that have gone through the same process. I think that's why musicianship today is (in general, with some exceptions) a shadow of it's former self.
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 04:57 PM
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Yes, interesting. I didn't see a resurgence in vinyl sales.
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, interesting. I didn't see a resurgence in vinyl sales.
Define resurgence. Vinyl sales is what I consider a niche market but sales figures continue to grow. Couple that with the facts that its surpassed CD sales and infrastructure which produces vinyl and plays vinyl continues to grow means that it will out live you and me as a viable option to streaming.
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 10:07 PM
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Vinyl sales. . . its surpassed CD sales
I can't find data to support that directly but it looks possible, based on trends.

I don't think 4th quarter RIAA figures are officially posted yet so 2019 total sales isn't posted yet either, is it? Have you a link?
Here's RIAA sales up until 2018, at least:
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I can't find data to support that directly but it looks possible, based on trends.

I don't think 4th quarter RIAA figures are officially posted yet so 2019 total sales isn't posted yet either, is it? Have you a link?
Here's RIAA sales up until 2018, at least:
Yeah we have to wait for 2019 figures to come out which are based on new sales and not the used market. I figure the used market of CD sales will be higher than that of LPs.

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post #19 of 31 Old 01-10-2020, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 3db View Post
Define resurgence. Vinyl sales is what I consider a niche market but sales figures continue to grow. Couple that with the facts that its surpassed CD sales and infrastructure which produces vinyl and plays vinyl continues to grow means that it will out live you and me as a viable option to streaming.
Well, from your link, I don't see those numbers. All the US recorded sales volume has been decreasing since 2008. CD was 52 million with LP/EP at 16.7 million in 2018. The revenue didn't surpass CD either in 2018. Not sure what LP/EP is as there is a vinyl singles in sales. By 1987, CD had more revenue than the two combined. Your link doesn't seem to differentiate between new and used CD but why would RIAA follow used sales?

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post #20 of 31 Old 01-11-2020, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, from your link, I don't see those numbers. All the US recorded sales volume has been decreasing since 2008. CD was 52 million with LP/EP at 16.7 million in 2018. The revenue didn't surpass CD either in 2018. Not sure what LP/EP is as there is a vinyl singles in sales. By 1987, CD had more revenue than the two combined. Your link doesn't seem to differentiate between new and used CD but why would RIAA follow used sales?
Yeah, I understand where you are coming from based on my original chart but if you look Mr Zillchs chart, you can the trend of CD sales falling and vinyl rising. Its niche but this niche is growing slowly and vinyl sales have been increasing yearly roughly 16 or 17% on average if I remember this correctly from past years. Still 16 or 17% of small is still small.
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post #21 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I can't find data to support that directly but it looks possible, based on trends.

I don't think 4th quarter RIAA figures are officially posted yet so 2019 total sales isn't posted yet either, is it?
mid-year came out in September:
Quote:
in RIAA’s 2019 mid-year report, vinyl records earned $224.1 million (on 8.6 million units) in the first half of 2019, closing in on the $247.9 million (on 18.6 million units) generated by CD sales. Vinyl revenue grew by 12.8% in the second half of 2018 and 12.9% in the first six months of 2019, while the revenue from CDs barely budged. If these trends hold, records will soon be generating more money than compact discs.
Yikes...
the average unit of vinyl sold for $26.06
The average CD was $13.33

So vinyl sells at twice the price. I'm sure the production cost is higher, but not $13 higher.
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post #22 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 08:44 AM
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mid-year came out in September:


Yikes...
the average unit of vinyl sold for $26.06
The average CD was $13.33

So vinyl sells at twice the price. I'm sure the production cost is higher, but not $13 higher.
Back when vinyl was my primary format (pre-CD so c.1981) brand new releases from top artists were $7.99 but I often got them when on sale for $5.99. . . and even back then everyone argued the prices were way too high.
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post #23 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 09:05 AM
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Back when vinyl was my primary format (pre-CD so c.1981) brand new releases from top artists were $7.99 but I often got them when on sale for $5.99. . . and even back then everyone argued the prices were way too high.
Yep, I remember how many hours of burger flipping it took to buy an album. After 1981, I switched to cassettes when I started driving.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/03/tom-...-industry.html
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Tom Petty went head-to-head with MCA in 1981 when the label pushed to sell his next album, “Hard Promises,” for $9.98 a pop — a full dollar more than the norm at that time. On principle, Petty refused to release the record, stating that he wanted to keep costs down for his fans.

“If we don’t take a stand, one of these days, records are going to be $20,” he said at the time.
$9.98 in 1981 is $25.82 now... spot on.
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post #24 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Back when vinyl was my primary format (pre-CD so c.1981) brand new releases from top artists were $7.99 but I often got them when on sale for $5.99. . . and even back then everyone argued the prices were way too high.
...because $8 in 1981 is about $23.63 today, so yeah, they were expensive on my Detroit News paperboy money
https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc...1&year2=201912



...which is also why Cassettes and the walkman that played them were such a Big Deal- ie get a brand name Pioneer/JVC/Technics cassette deck and some reasonable quality blank cassettes in bulk (Mail order, gifts at birthdays/xmas), then borrow vinyl from friends, libraries, etc and make good sounding all analog recorded tapes both for home and mobile use

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post #25 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 09:19 AM
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I rarely buy optical discs new (CD, DVD, BluRay, etc). I usually check Amazon and ebay used/open inventories and prices first.


Thirft prices in recent years for CD's have been at an all time low- 5/dollar (20 cents each) at times at some Salvation Army stores, up to $2 each at other thrift stores. Of course the selection is totally random, disorganized, with a lot of busted up cases and scratched discs, but I have scored hundreds (probaby 1000's by now) of Naxos, Telarc classical and jazz CD's, female vocalists like Norah Jones and Diana Krall discographies and SACD's, and on good days, many other modern jazz, acoustic and alt/classic rock albums, most with pristine discs or minor, inaudible surface marks

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post #26 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 10:17 AM
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One of the biggest advantages, to me at least, between CDs and LPs is that used CDs are a pretty a safe bet, whereas used LPs are a crap shoot.
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 11:31 AM
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One of the biggest advantages, to me at least, between CDs and LPs is that used CDs are a pretty a safe bet, whereas used LPs are a crap shoot.
I think it's more they either work or they don't, most beat up records will still play to some degree but after 30 years of buying and ~800 discs deep I probably have 5 that don't play reliably and I've managed to successfully rip 2 of them. I have a lot of beat up records (I was a dollar bin fiend) and a lot of them are so noisy as to be not suited for even casual listening but they all play.
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post #28 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 11:51 AM
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One of the biggest advantages, to me at least, between CDs and LPs is that used CDs are a pretty a safe bet, whereas used LPs are a crap shoot.
True. CDs have many advantages. And most people here already have their preferences. But just to include another perspective, condition is also part of the "thrill of the hunt" for vinyl collectors. I actually prefer finding used copies in VG+ or EX condition than simply ordering new, shrink-wrapped reprints from amazon. Used CDs are indeed a safer bet.

Like looking for a '69 Camaro... the first one you find isn't necessarily going to be the best one out there. Especially if you enjoy searching, you can eventually find one at the right time and the right price that makes you smile. But others can also find a used 2012 Honda Civic at half the price, easier to maintain, and it might even beat the Camaro at 0-60. Does that always make it advantageous or preferable?
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post #29 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 11:52 AM
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I think it's more they either work or they don't, most beat up records will still play to some degree but after 30 years of buying and ~800 discs deep I probably have 5 that don't play reliably and I've managed to successfully rip 2 of them. I have a lot of beat up records (I was a dollar bin fiend) and a lot of them are so noisy as to be not suited for even casual listening but they all play.
My experience is roughly 99% of used CDs play flawlessly, start to finish, and 99% of used LPs have occasional pops, ticks, or groove wear which reaches "annoying" level for me. Hence I generally stick to only new vinyl.
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post #30 of 31 Old 01-16-2020, 12:07 PM
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My experience is roughly 99% of used CDs play flawlessly, start to finish, and 99% of used LPs have occasional pops, ticks, or groove wear which reaches "annoying" level for me. Hence I generally stick to only new vinyl.
3 unrippable CDs out of at least 400 I bought used is well below 1% so I'm in agreement. I've found that Amazon and Discogs sellers tend to be pretty honest about CD condition, eBay of course is always a crapshoot
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