Posts filed under “Digital Media”

CD Sales Plummet 15%; Digital Sales Gain 45%

Been meaning to get to this for a few days:

"U.S. album sales plunged 15% last year from 2006, as the recording industry marked another weak year of sales despite a 45% surge in the sale of digital tracks.

A total of 500.5 million albums were purchased as CDs, cassettes, LPs and other formats last year, down from 588 million in 2006, said Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks point-of-purchase sales.

The shortfall in album sales drops to 9.5% when sales of digital singles are counted as 10-track equivalent albums. The number of digital tracks sold jumped 45% to 844.2 million; digital album sales accounted for 10% of total album purchases.

For the first time since SoundScan started tracking genre sales, all 12 genres dropped, with rap down 30% and country more than 16%. Overall music purchases, including albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos, rose to 1.35 billion units, up 14% from 2006."

Rap down 30%?

No surprise, there. Rap peaked with the Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique, and has been downhill ever since . . .

>

Source:
Album Sales Drop Despite Digital’s Rise
Associated Press
January 4, 2008; Page B5
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119941157827866649.html

I particularly like the way Variety spun it last year:

Digital sales boost music industry
Album sales drop yet again
PHIL GALLO 
Variety Thurs., Jan. 4, 2007, 9:25am PT    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117956655.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

Category: Digital Media, Music

Game Over in Blu-Ray HD contest?

I’ve mentioned the Blu Ray/HD quandry in the past, but it seems the fight is drawing to its conclusion. In both the US and Europe, Blu-ray discs are significantly outselling HD DVDs.

But its this MacRumors chart (below) that pretty much sums up the battle:

>

Warner_300

Its hard to see how HD has a shot.

Now the question becomes how fast the prices drop on both the Blu Ray players and movies, but for now, I am sticking with an upconvert Sony for the big TV.


>

UPDATE: January 8, 2008 8:21pm

Why would prices go down?

As we previously discussed, I suspect many consumers have been on the sidelines awaiting the winner of the format war between Blu-Ray and HD.

As that fades away, the total number of purchases of the winner — Blu Ray — will go up significantly.

Thus, economies of scale, mass adaptation, and desires for deep market penetration will drive prices lower.

As to the monopoly issue — I doubt its an issue. 1) These are video playback toys, not an essential product or service; and B)  There is still legit competition from ordinary DVD players (fer cryin out loud, you can still buy VCRs for $29).   

My apologies for failing to explain the intermediate steps in my thinking  . . .

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology, Video

Who Do You Trust?

Category: Digital Media, Psychology, Web/Tech, Weblogs

2007 Movie Theater Attendance = Flat

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology

Friday Evening Jazz: Oscar Peterson (II)

Exclusively_for_my_friends_box_setOscar Peterson has been recording and performing for over half a century. He passed away Christmas Eve ’07 at the age of 82.

He may be the single most recorded of all piano players. 

Oscar bridged the swing and bop eras, rooting himself in a style that was at the same time stunningly complex yet soulfully elegant. 

Nobody used more notes to swing! Oscar is sometimes dismissed because he wasn’t groundbreaking in the way that many of his contemporaries were. But the range of expression he achieved on the piano along with his technical prowess is hardly rivaled in mainstream jazz.

Trio_2 Many consider his solo recordings of the late 60s and early 70s to be his most outstanding work, but do not overlook his trio recordings both with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen and later with Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson.

The live album "The Trio" from 1973 (not to be confused with a Verve release of the same title) is a great recording of Oscar with Pass and Pederson and shows Oscar at his most virtuosic. Check out the Brown Thigpen work live here.

Satch_and_joshFor a
compendium of his 1960s work in both trio and solo settings, the
excellent box set "Exclusively for My Friends" will keep you
entertained for years.

Of course, there are the standard "songbook"
albums (George Gershwin, Cole Porter, etc.) and the duets with greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Clark Terry and
Dizzy Gillespie.

I am also partial to A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra.

Night_trainThe 1962 album "Night Train" with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen is also a favorite. It showcases Oscar at his best on both ballads and uptempo numbers and he really shows his blues chops.

A_jazz_portrait_of_frank_sinatra

Oscar Peterson will be missed . . .

>

Sources:


80th Birthday Tribute to Oscar Peterson
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4829211
 PLAYER

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=4829211&m=4830843


Oscar Peterson’s ‘Jazz Odyssey’
   
Hear an extended version of Bob Edwards’ interview with Oscar Peterson.   

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1170182


Oscar Peterson, 82, Jazz’s Piano Virtuoso, Dies
 
RICHARD SEVERO
NYT,  December 25, 2007    

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/25/arts/25peterson.html

A Jazz ‘Behemoth’ Moves On
NAT HENTOFF
WSJ, December 28, 2007
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119878787299653457.html


Tributes paid to Oscar Peterson

BBC, Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 08:00 GMT     http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7159772.stm>

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

A Different Kind of Music List: Best of 2007

It’s that time of year again! Following our successful outings the past three years, I’m at it again. Here’s our Different Kind of Top 10 Music List for 2007. If you missed prior versions (2006 and 2005 and 2004), here’s the deal: There are a gazillion Best of Lists out there (and one list to…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Music

Move over CDs: DVDs, Concerts also slump

We have been documenting the slow death of CDs over the past 7 years. This year brought the first slowing sales in that other shiny polycarbonate disc, the DVD.

In a recent report, Alliance Bernstein Research observed that through early December, DVD sales
were down 4.1% YTD
, including a 2.1% decline in Q4.
Bernstein cited data from Nielsen VideoScan.

DVD sales were flat in 2006,pulling in the same ~$16 billion as 2005. Total home video revenues — including both sales and rentals — looks like they will hit ~$23 billion in 2007. That’s a $ billion shy of 2006 revenues.

These are only minor drops, but what makes them significant is that, no matter how you measure it, 2007 is the first negative year-over-year sales growth since DVDs came to market.

I suspect that the usual attention scarcity — which have been hurting CD sales — are also be impacting DVDs. And DRM certainly isn’t helping (What do you mean I can’t watch this DVD on my iPod?). However, DVD buyers are also wrestling with the additional factor of the latest format war.

Speaking personally, I’ve throttled back on my DVD purchases, as I await the winner of the HD/Blu Ray battle. Whatever DVDs I buy these days are disposable/rental priced (i.e., $5.99). The various HD formats are much pricier, and until that fight gets resolved, I, like many consumers, are buying less (Do I want this in HD? Gee, I better wait). Who wants to get stuck (again) with another extinct format?

There may be other macro factors at play: namely, an over-extended consumer. That showed up in not just DVD and CD sales, but in concert ticket revenue, also. 

PoliceDespite several big "reunion" tours — the Police, Van Halen and Genesis — the total North American concert industry posted its slowest year since 2004. According to Pollstar, the top 20 tours generated $996 million, down 15.6% percent from 2006 totals. The 2004 total was $951.1 million, when Prince and Madonna were touring. Perhaps a long tail effect is spreading less revenue to more bands.   

Here’s the specifics on revenue and ticket prices:

Top 20 Selling Tours of 2007 (Millions)

1. The Police  $ 131.9
2. Kenny Chesney $ 71.1 
3.  Justin Timberlake $ 70.6 
4. Celine Dion $ 65.3 
5.  Van Halen $ 56.7 
6. Tim McGraw
and Faith Hill 
$ 52.3
7. Rod Stewart $ 49 
8.  Genesis $ 47.6
9.  Josh Groban $ 43 
10.   Rascal Flatts $ 41.5 
11.   Dave Matthews Band  $ 41.1
12. Billy Joel $ 39.1 
  13.  Roger Waters  $ 38.3
14. Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band 
$ 38.2
15.  Hanna Montana
/ Miley Cyrus 
$ 36
16.   Elton John $ 35.7 
17. Jimmy Buffett  $ 35.6 
18.    Barry Manilow $ 34.8
19.  Toby Keith $ 34.3 
20.   Maná $ 33.9

(Based on total dollar volume of tickets sold)

Source: Pollstar

>

An interesting side note: The average price of concert tickets (sold through StubHub’s secondary market)  in 2007 was $117 — a price decrease of $28 per ticket compared to 2006. Note that these are not face value, but secondary (scalped) tickets.

Highest Average Ticket Price of 2007

1. Celine Dion $ 347
2. Elton John $ 260 
3.  Hannah Montana  $ 257
4. Eric Clapton $ 253 
5.  Bon Jovi  $ 239 
6. Bruce Springsteen $ 226
7. Van Halen $ 217 
8.  Genesis $ 210
9.  The Police  $ 209 
10. Michael Buble  $ 195

(For tours that sold over 3,000 total tickets)

Source: CNN Money, Stubhub

>

You something unusual is occurring in the economy when consumers pull back on their entertainment spending . . .

>

Sources:

CDs Are Dying. Are DVDs Next?
Eric Savitz
Tech Trader Daily, December 21, 2007, 2:36 pm
http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2007/12/21/cds-are-dying-are-dvds-next/

Big media sees reversal of fortune
Georg Szalai
Hollywood Reporter,
Dec 11, 2007   
http://tinyurl.com/yszshy

DVD-ISASTER SALES   
BRIAN GARRITY   
NYPost,
December 4, 2007   
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12042007/business/dvd_isaster_sales_806649.htm

The Police Lock Top 2007 Tours Spot
Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 1:02PM   
http://www.pollstar.com/news/viewnews.pl?NewsID=9020

U.S. concert business slumps despite reunion tours
Dean Goodman
Reuters, Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:44pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSN2129255420071224

2007 StubHub Concert Ticket Annual Report 2007
December 05, 2007: 06:12 PM EST
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0336458.htm

The Life Cycle of a CD or DVD
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/students/finalposter.pdf

Category: Digital Media, Music, Video

Friday Night Jazz: Favorite Holiday CDs

Category: Digital Media, Music

Blade Runner DVD NOT Released Today

Category: Digital Media, Film

Comedy Writers, VCs to Disintermediate TV Studios

Category: Digital Media, Television, Web/Tech