Originally Posted by mcraghead
Why all the talk about back catalogs? Granted the people who would be most interested in re-purchasing Pink Floyd, Queen, and Jimi are well established, but they, in general, do not make up the bulk of music buyers, at least not in the US. Even though they have the means doesn't make them (us) the best target.
I'm fairly certain that the music industry, what's left of it, lives and dies based on new releases. The number of new releases in either SACD or DVD-A was patheticly low. How could they ever have expected it to take off like that? Even without digital rights management that model sucks.
I must disagree here.
Back catalog sales are HUGE for the music business. No cost to produce and they make up the VAST majority of sales.
Also re: new music versus back catalog - consider what Bose does so well. Yes, people SLAY them for their sound of their speakers but to me their stength is MULTI-CHANNEL-MARKETING. I don't mean selling 5.1 speakers. I mean their ability to sell clock radios in the NY Times or speakers at Circuit or on an infomercial or at an outlet mall. They are everywhere. Music is sold online and by the download. Fewer and fewer ways to fewer and fewer people. I think the music industry would be well suited copying Bose and sell music a lot of different ways. HELL, it might not be them. Perhaps you let other companies take your masters and resell it. Tell me if Mobile Fideilty put out the Led Zeppelin collection - you would wouldn't buy it in 24/192? ESPECIALLY if it was a limited edition? I would.
Yes, back catalog is big business but I was speaking in terms of multi-channel recordings (I thought that was the overall topic on this thread). Whether you are talking about back catalog or new release there is plenty of work to do, because as far as I know not much is done usually during the initial recording and mastering to prepare recordings for multi-channel playback. Engineers will have to re-mix for either new relases or back catalog. Given that takes time and money I still think it would be wise to take a top-20 selling artist and release their recording in multi-channel format when it is released on CD. The potential is huge if you can get some of those buyers to by the multi-channel version in stead. Say it's a platinum-ish CD in a year. If you could get 10% of those to be MC format sales that would be great. And combine that with other platinum-ish recordings at the same percentage and you're on a roll. And if the technology catches the percentages would go up.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that I believe the potential is far greater for new releases than it is for back catalog since the amount of work would roughly be the same either way. In a one for one comparison I would take a top 20 new release over a back catalog item almost every time.
Put another way (I hope I don't get too far off on a tangent), I don't think HD-DVD and Blue-ray would have made the a push that they have into the market place without the large number of new releases that are available as well as the back catalog items. I even believe that the new releases have been more instrumental in their success than the back catalog items.
If the back catalog was that much more powerful than new releases then why don't record companies just stop releasing new material and concentrate on selling what they already have? ;-)
I guess we just have to agree to disagree.
Michael K. Craghead