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Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse: DVD + CD

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On November 24, 2004 @ 12:05 am In Finance,Music | Comments Disabled

This past June, I saw Aimee Mann [1] Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse [2] in Brooklyn, an intimate little venue just under the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a special evening, with Mann’s performance perfectly in sync with the capacity audience’s expectations. All told, a great concert was enjoyed by the 1200 people in attendance.

By coincidence, the show I saw was video recorded, and just came out on DVD [3] .

Here’s what I cannot understand: The DVD [3] is $15 — but it also comes with a CD [3] of the concert. Will someone explain to me why major labels release 45 minutes of music on disc for the same price as a small label’s DVD and CD [3] ?

Perhaps its Mann’s notorious dislike [4] of her past labels. The New York Times’ Jonathan Van Meter wrote [5]:  "Mann is known for writing clever, disappointed love songs that can also be read as damnations of the music industry."  Her Album "I’m with Stupid [6]" was a thinly veiled reference to Geffen (What label are you with?) as were numerous songs on that disc (Choice In The Matter, Par For The Course, You’re With Stupid Now); The song "Nothing Is Good Enough" off the CD Bachelor No. 2 [7] was reputedly based on a conversation with a music exec.

Mann subsequently dumped her label  (Geffen’s Interscope, mentioned previously [8]), negotiated the purchase of her masters, and set out for own label: Superego Records, part of United Musicians [9], a cooperative, artist owned label. In a further break with the big labels, her most recent albums can be streamed — for free — at her site [1] (click "listen").

I doubt that releasing a DVD/CD — for the same price as a major label CD — is a money losing idea. Even a 9 camera shoot will be profitible, if it sells modestly. It just goes to show ya how corrupt the major label $15 CD business model is.

Maybe someone with basic math skills can explain to the major labels what they are doing wrong.

UPDATE:  November 28, 2004 12:29pm
A quick trip this morn to Best Buy reminded me that "Coldplay – Live 2003 [10]" was a similar DVD + CD; There was also a Sarah McLachlan DVD + CD combo (Mirrorball?)

UPDATE 2:  November 28, 2004 1:32pm
On a hunch, I went ot Amazon’s DVD section, searched fro DVD+CD, and came up with 152 results [11]. These combo DVD+CDs are apparently an ongoing trend, and gaining in popularity . . .

Makes sense — if a CD at $15 is a lousy deal, than a DVD+CD at $15-20 is a pretty good one

UPDATE 3:  November 29, 2004 3:33pm
More DVD+CD: R.E.M. will reissue their entire Warner Bros. catalog on February 15th, with each two disc set including the original album and a bonus DVD [12]featuring the record remixed in 5.1 surround sound, as well as unreleased documentary and video footage.


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2004/11/live-at-st-anns-warehouse-dvd-cd/

URLs in this post:

[1] Aimee Mann: http://www.aimeemann.com/home.html

[2] St. Ann’s Warehouse: http://www.stannswarehouse.org/index2.html

[3] DVD: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00064VQW6/ref=ase_thebigpictu09-20/002-4755284-4456864?v=glance&s=dvd

[4] notorious dislike: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/investing/20030509a1.asp

[5] wrote: http://www.hiponline.com/artist/music/m/mann_aimee/

[6] I’m with Stupid: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000003TBW/ref=ase_thebigpictu09-20/002-4755284-4456864

[7] Bachelor No. 2: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004RG4Y/ref=ase_thebigpictu09-20/002-4755284-4456864?v=glance&s=music

[8] previously: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2004/11/no_coincidences.html

[9] United Musicians: http://www.unitedmusicians.com/temp/index.html

[10] Coldplay – Live 2003: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000DJZ9T/ref=ase_thebigpictu09-20/102-7247026-2122531?v=glance&s=dvd

[11] 152 results: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/ref=dp_sr_00/102-7247026-2122531

[12] original album and a bonus DVD : http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/6645826/rem?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single1

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