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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones The Future of Optical Drives and CDs (21) RE: The Future of Optical Drives and CDs 06 Nov 18

There is clearly a trend towards listening to music which has been downloaded or streamed. I think in the folk world there is still a strong preference to have a physical product, even if it is then ripped to a computer or phone. This may be because an older demographic is cynical about the reliability of technology and want to actually own something rather than simply have a licence to listen to it. However there is also a desire to support musicians who are often making their own CDs, rather than the big tech companies.

As a counter to the decline of CDs there is a renewed interest in vinyl. Quite a few young musicians are releasing albums as LPs alongside CDs and downloads.

The biggest challenge is streaming. These are in effect free to listen to (once you have paid for the service you then forget about it), but pay very little to the musicians. A typical payment for a single stream is around $0.0005, and that's before deductions by the distributing company and Paypal. In our case there are also currency conversion charges, and what's left is split 5 ways. The costs of recording are the same whether for physical release or download, and this is the biggest element in the cost of making an album. If musicians can't cover at least a some of their costs it will become even more difficult to release high quality recordings. Of course it is now possible to do a lot with home recording equipment but it's not going to match a proper studio.

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