Do You Care if CD Comes Back?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Interesting... this would be equivalent to artists signing with Spotify/Tidal/etc. as a label, right?
  2. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    Thanks for that clarification.
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Surely the big CD dump has been due to people streaming and not wanting the CDs taking up space anymore. Same thing happened with vinyl records in the ‘90s with people downsizing to CDs. I don’t really see people dumping their CDs in favor of vinyl. There may be people who would have bought CD if vinyl had not come back as a mainstream format, but to me it is clear that is dwarfed by the numbers of people primarily streaming their music.
  4. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Or other kinds of exclusives. Tidal, with artist investors, has done some of that -- exclusive concerts, release window exclusives, stuff like that. Spotify a couple of years ago inked at deal with UMG to do some kind of exclusive release stuff. Apple's done that. But no one has really gone heavy into exclusive and/or original programming, which, in TV-like streaming, has been the big push -- Netflix making shows, cutting long term deals with producers like Shonda Rhimes, etc. The music streaming platforms haven't become like programming networks, and the music producing companies haven't launched their own exclusive platforms (like Disney is doing with movies and TV). The models have diverged, with the result I think that the music streaming platforms are kind of fungible. For the average, non-audiophile user, who doesn't care much about audio quality, the content is substantially similar whether you're using Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google or Tidal.
    PhantomStranger and Big Blue like this.
  5. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    My issue with streaming is that content can disappear from the providers for whatever reason. I know that Taylor Swift has taken her work off the streaming services on a few occassions (though it did eventually return). If I was a huge Taylor fan who only streamed, I would be pretted PO'd if I went to my service, and all of a sudden all her albums vanished. A few years I ago, I wanted to get into Rory Gallagher, and noticed almost all of his albums on Spotify. A few weeks later, I went back to start listening, and they were almost all gone !
    nosliw likes this.
  6. Newton John

    Newton John Searching for the Lost Chord

    Tynedale, UK
    Just as a record shop doesn't stock every album ever released, streaming services won't always have absolutely everything available.

    Use them to their strengths for exploring new music or stuff you'd like to hear a couple of times, only. Personally, I don't want an ever growing collection of CDs (or vinyl records) that I'm unlikely to listen to again. Also, it would be prohibitively expensive to buy everything I might try out.

    Mitigate against their weaknesses- if you're huge Taylor Swift, Rory Gallagher or whoever fan, buy the CDs, downloads or vinyl. Same with obscure stuff or if you can get hold of a better mastered version.

    Not everything is available on CD (or vinyl). No single format will ever give you everything.
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    So true. That's why I'm pretty much format agnostic -- streaming, LP, CD, download (though that one is a last resort for me), whatever I need to get to the music I want to hear.
  8. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    new york city

    It's supply and demand at work. It was in the mid and late 2000s - **10-15** years ago, for those of us here in the stage of life when the years fly past! - when the dumping of CDs en masse began in earnest, and the reason all of those CDs became worth next to nothing was oversupply. Many of the titles that most people owned existed out there in the millions. If millions of a particular title of a CD exists, but only a hundred thousand or so people want it, then it doesn't have much value. Obviously, titles that were manufactured in numbers under, say, 50,000 have the potential to retain their value if the music contained on the disc is something that still interests fans of the genre in question. It can sometimes be difficult, especially among a group of hard-core music enthusiasts who are often paying $10 or more for even used CD titles, to adequately comprehend the proportions of things; for every CD title that basically can't be given away, I'm sure people in here can think of several that they want but would have to pay a decent amount of money for. But it's far from a 1:1 comparison. Or 2:1 or 3:1. The 100 biggest selling CDs (in their day) that nobody now wants utterly dwarfs the entire manufactured population of many peoples' entire wish-lists on smaller labels in here. The fact that there are still many, many CD titles that sell for $15 or more does not equate a vibrant CD market. It just means that to get CDs back to the $15 mark, about 1/10th of them had to be made, because the market for them collapsed.


    The slightly raised prices on CDs, by 2018/2019, IMO, was to be expected, because of the supply/demand principles I discussed above. The market for used CDs cratered right when everyone was dumping them. People are still dumping them (estates, late-arrivers to streaming) but not like before. And, now, new CDs released in the last 10+ years were manufactured in numbers that made sense for the shrinking market. So, the no-longer-hip bands from the earlier 2010s that sold a lot back then don't have 10 million copies of their work that nobody can give away, because nowhere close to that number of their albums were ever manufactured.


    I can't determine how literally you mean this. The copyrights in the recorded music for nearly every song of public renown is owned by the labels, and it's the labels who made the deals with the streaming services. Based on the tons of revenue they're generating, I don't think that the owners of the music have any problems at all with the arrangement. If you mean that the means of production of the music itself (the musicians and writers) aren't making enough money and therefore will cease to sell their wares to recording labels... well, that's something that the future will determine. Right now, more music than ever is being recorded, however, and not by a small amount, either.


    The market for recorded music is in a period of re-adjustment, to say the least. I agree with you that there is still a market for recorded music on physical media and that though it will continue to shrink, it will exist well enough *for the people who participate in it* for at least another 10 years; possibly 25 or even 50. It's just not anywhere near as big as it was 10-15 years ago and it will continue to shrink, and that is because recorded music on physical media went from being the only way a consumer could legally play music on-demand, to being one of several ways. That is a paradigm shift, not analogous to a consumer shift from physical media A to physical media B.

    The history of the industry proves that it is the preferences of the majority that drive the manner in which new music is made and distributed, and studying the preferences of the majority, it is apparent that all format shifts are primarily driven by convenience and cost. That is why streaming or some future iteration of streaming, is here to stay, absent a massive unforeseen change to the industry. Streaming is cheap and the choices of what to listen to are endless. Most people regarded the purchase, set-up, and housing of hi-fi equipment - as well as the storage of the physical media itself - to be a necessary evil; nearly 10 years after streaming, reintroducing these things into peoples' lives is an unthinkable imposition and cost.

    I have no doubt that there will be a nostalgic bump in CD interest by the end of the next decade or early in the 2030s, but I don't see it as being much more than the current cassette tape thing, and that is so small and brief that it barely registers. This is because all CDs can offer is '90s nostalgia. They aren't the gateway to physical media - vinyl is. As long as vinyl exists, it will give the average consumer *more* of what he/she buys physical media for: bigger artwork, more tactile experience, more readable booklets, etc. This is an not an audiophile CD vs. vinyl argument, but how I see it from the perspective of an average consumer. Why go "retro," but do so with a CD? Just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, beyond Gen-X nostalgia.

    Others in here will disagree (they already have; I've read it) but IMO they confuse the preferences of audiophiles and hard-core music fans with those of the average person. Yes, there are some obscure titles (and some non-obscure, to be fair) that are only available on CD if you want physical media. Yes, there are some titles whereby a CD production has the consensus best sound (or, at least, the best dollar-for-dollar on the used market). Yes, there are people who have gone all-in on expensive digital playback systems and have decided that that is how they'll spend the rest of their music-loving days. Great. There are some people too old and set in their ways to ever embrace streaming who still view CDs as primarily competing with vinyl, and they've determined that not having background noise and/or not having to flip the disc, and/or the smaller footprint and/or who can't seem to stop getting gobs of honey or ketchup on their physical media, for whom CDs will always reign supreme. Again, great, but these are not reasons that the average music fan in 2019 cares much of anything about, and they're not going to return to caring about. And it's the average music fans who dictate where the market moves.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019 at 2:23 PM
  9. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Shockingly to me, there's no sign yet that the vinyl resurgence has peaked. Vinyl sales haven't begun diminishing in the US yet. The RIAA 1H report shows LP shipments up 6% in units and 13% in retail value in the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018.

    But as others have noted, it's not really vinyl that's taken the starch out of CD. It's the internet -- first file sharing, now streaming. CDs decline began in 2001 with the arrival of file sharing and, by 2003, the launch of the iTunes store. Vinyl didn't begin growing again until 2008. It's true that now, as physical media has become a fractional part of the US music industry, that CD and vinyl are competing for the interest of physical media users. But it's not like there's been a concomitant rise in vinyl for the shrinking of CD. On a unit basis, the number of LPs shipped is still 1/2 the number of CDs. Its not like there's a one for one trade of CD for LP going on.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019 at 2:38 PM
  10. jjhunsecker

    jjhunsecker Forum Resident

    New York city
    That's exactly why I buy the CDs of artists I love....they are mine forever, and not subject to the whims of programmers or artists or labels or publishers
    Grant, Tom H, Big Blue and 1 other person like this.
  11. tineardrum

    tineardrum Well-Known Member

    The problem with CDs is in the mastering and loudness wars. It seems most new titles have better mastering in vinyl than CD and that's the only thing that keeps my turntable on my system. I keep reading how the loudness wars are over but I don't see it.
  12. Bolster

    Bolster Forum Resident

    Most of my CD's have been copied to my NAS drive for my network player.

    But I still play my CD's every now and then just for the ritual of loading it into the CD drive, I suppose it's not dissimilar to handling an L.P.
  13. Gaslight

    Gaslight Kokomo or My Ding-a-Ling : Shoulda been a poll

    Northeast USA
    They have, albeit at a much smaller scale. Kanye West initially being Tidal only (at first) comes to mind.

    I could see exactly this where a special album by some well-known artist is locked into Spotify or Tidal or Amazon Music. Similar to a special "B&N only" CD release.
  14. Gaslight

    Gaslight Kokomo or My Ding-a-Ling : Shoulda been a poll

    Northeast USA
    I also don't think we can apple and oranges compare a vinyl resurgence to a future CD resurgence, as you have to look at why vinyl became popular again to begin with.

    Vinyl is the ying to streaming / digital download's yang. It's not easy to copy, each LP is fairly "unique" in its surface noise isn't generally identical to another copy, it has large album art and large liner notes, and generally that feeling that you have to put some time in to clean them, keep them maintained and actually get up after 22 minutes to flip the side. And of course lastly that the SQ can be better than its CD countepart in that the mastering may not be as futzed with.

    Streaming / downloads of course have the ultra convenience factor which is their main advantage + for streaming it's simply the low cost to have a large collection of music at your disposal. CD's, on the other hand, is generally in the middle and you'd think that would be a positive. But the problem is that it's a "master of nothing" as a result. Yes, I know they can sound great and yes I know that they are portable. But for a modern release there's nothing that stands out that says "I am better at this, than those other options".

    Except maybe the low cost today for used CD's, but that's not something that's going to sustain a format. That's like people buying heavily during a liquidation sale.
  15. Tom H

    Tom H Forum Resident

    Kapolei, Hawaii
    I appreciate your post, but I have to disagree with you on this quote pending further explanation/understanding. There are advantages that CDs have over vinyl records - you don't have to flip them over, you can fit more music on them, they don't "snap, crackle, and pop," they take up less space, they can be easily ripped for play on portable players, they are more shiny, etc. So I don't understand why you think vinyl is a "gateway to physical media" and CDs are not. Where does the gateway lead - to more vinyl purchases, or does it open up interest in all physical media?
    Halloween_Jack likes this.
  16. Larry Mc

    Larry Mc Forum Dude

    I would think that like me, most folks in here have most of the cds they want. I still buy cds every once in a while if a remaster I've been waiting for or a replacement cd for one I lost in the past is released.

    The big companies better figure out some way to get the younger collectors interested in hard copies of the music being released these days.

    I would think if some security issues corrupted the streaming/downloading of music, you may see an increase in cds and vinyl. Right now, I don't see young folks getting too excited about new cds. :)
  17. Larry Mc

    Larry Mc Forum Dude

    You could probably look up old threads in this forum and find examples of folks in here talking about how much better cds sound than vinyl, and now they want vinyl.
    I didn't buy a cd player until 1995 and only then because of peer pressure and perception of the convenience of not getting up every 15 minutes to turn over a record.
    I didn't like the cd players at first, they were too sensitive. They would skip if you walked by while they were playing a cd. after some time, I loved it, I could sit in my chair and change cds on my carousel with my remote.
  18. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    At this point there probably exist more functioning record lathes in daily operation than functioning LBRs.
  19. Grant

    Grant That really swings!

    United States
    There are a lot of things disappearing from download and streaming vendors. And, of course, someone is going to ask me which ones.:rolleyes:
    patient_ot likes this.
  20. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Best Coast USA
    Which ones? :winkgrin:
    Uglyversal and vinylfilmaholic like this.
  21. LBC_Jet

    LBC_Jet Active Member

    Long Beach, CA
    My large rock/indie CD collection lies boxed up and my beloved Jolida player is as well. The CD's are ripped to FLAC. If I listen to them it's through the Directstream Jr. I sometimes buy hi rez downloads. I suppose I'll come back to it all but for the last year or so I'm into classical RtR.
  22. Tom H

    Tom H Forum Resident

    Kapolei, Hawaii
    I remember when I learned to back things up that I'd purchased digitally. This was years ago. I had purchased a couple of Van Morrison albums on iTunes. A couple of years later, my hard drive crashed, and when I got a new laptop and went to download the albums from iTunes again they said they no longer had the rights to them. Even though I had paid for the two digital albums, I no longer had access to them. Lesson learned! Main lesson: Don't buy digital files. Just get the CDs. Secondary lesson: Back 'em up.
    Audiowannabee likes this.
  23. nightstand68

    nightstand68 Forum Resident

    Going by that logic, what if I’m grandfathered in at a locked $9.99 a month, in which is technically true with Google all access/YouTube premium?
  24. Depending on where you are listening to music, the sound quality may not make much difference. Again many through smart phones, and many in cars or at work. None have sound equal to what you would get listening through their home stereo systems.
    We do have streaming through our TV service provider, but I never listen to it. My wife does once in awhile, through a flatscreen TV with it's tiny speakers.
    Occasionally we would get free promotional service in our car radios. You could pick a certain genre, like 60's rock and roll, but then they would slip something in from the 1970's or 1980's Though I like music from all eras, when I tune into a channel for a specific kind of music, that's what I expect to hear. I couldn't imagine paying for a service like that. And then, what if you don't like a certain song that is playing? Sure, many services allow you to skip, for a premium, but then the next song is the wrong era or just as crappy as the previous one.
    No. I prefer to remain in full control of what, where and when I choose to listen. Streaming isn't for me.
  25. You're only locked in for a set period, 'grandfathered in' doesn't much count anymore. Heck, my Netflix has gone up a couple of times.
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