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News Best Buy pulling CDs; Target pushing for consignments

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Rudy, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    With CD sales declining at a steady pace (down 18.5% for 2017), Billboard reports that two major retailers are looking at making changes in marketing of the format. Best Buy is pulling CDs from the shelves by July 1 this year. Target, on the other hand, is pushing for consignment sales--in other words, the Target will still stock the CDs, but will not pay for them until they are scanned at the register (which, of course, the labels don't like). The CD situation at both stores is quite dismal these days compared to the past but still, they are capable of selling very large quantities of the top selling titles. Target is already pushing to do this with DVDs, giving studios until Feb. 1 to decide if they are on board with the program or not.

    In related news, the Warner Music Group extended buyout offers to 130 employees who manage "physical media" at the company, due to declining CD sales.

    On the other hand, 2017 vinyl sales were up 9% over 2016. LPs accounted for 14% of all physical album sales, up from 11% in 2016, and accounted for 8.5% of all album sales, up from 6.5% in 2016. (All album sales include vinyl, CD, cassette and downloads.)
    Steven J. Gross likes this.
  2. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I knew somehow that when the day that retailers began to stop selling Cds it would be the beginning of the End of the format ( I remember when it happened to vinyl and I was one of those who was sad to see it go) however I'm not going to go back and buy everything all over again.Almost EVERYTHING i had on vinyl is on Cds or CD-R for me right now Downloads are a Bonus but I know they will be more Dominant if they aren't already. I suspect More Retailers are going to follow Target and Best Buy's Lead
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    No doubt they will. One that might hold on is Barnes & Noble since they are a "media" store. But the days of CDs at most mass market stores is pretty much done and over with. When the "big guys" make changes like this, others soon follow. Best Buy is still holding onto vinyl for a couple more years since this was part of a separate agreement, but I suspect they will drop that as well when the time comes.
  4. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I think this is a sign of the times. I also think we have got to a point where the public would just rather download their favorite music to their mobile device or stream it. The general public hears no difference between buying a cd and downloading it at a much lower bitrate. The convenience factor of downloading far outweighs purchasing a CD.

    What I find interesting is the resurgence of vinyl to the general public especially considering today's microwave society. We want things fast and we want them now is today's mentality. Could it be that that the public is more concerned with how their music really sounds, getting the best sound possible from their favorite artists. That a vinyl holds more substance or more value in purchase?

    I was in Best Buy about a month ago and I remember looking at the CDs and I remember having to literally rub the dust away from the jewel cases. I said to myself wow am I the first one to touch this in years or what? It was weird. So yeah I can understand why retailers are thinking ahead on this issue.
    Steven J. Gross likes this.
  5. I don't care what retailers do with their stores. My days of browsing and shopping for music have been over for years. And most of my purchases now are done via the Internet and very little of it is recent or new. The only time I buy any music that's new is the occasional Herb or Sergio title when they hit the marketplace. Other than that, it's all older stuff purchased through eBay or Discogs, or odd catalog titles that resurface in Japan.
  6. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Some listeners are finally wising up to the fact that Sony's "Perfect Sound Forever" was not all it was cracked up to be. :wink: Younger listeners are discovering that they'd rather listen to warmer, smoother vinyl than the MP3s they were used to hearing; others just like the tactile feel of playing the music, looking at the jacket (vs. squinting at unreadable CD bookets...a problem since 1982), even shopping for it and sharing the listening experience, which was another thing lost with CDs and especially with downloads, as there is nothing to pass around and share while listening.

    I get everything as downloads now if I can, especially if it's high-res. That is also why I still like the vinyl--there is an even bigger tactile disconnect when playing files, vs. the act of playing records. I even tend to treat some of the downloads as background music since it is so easy to play it...and forget about it. With records, I feel as though I'm "on" 100% of the time.

    I figure CD was due to die anyway. 78 RPM shellac records were mainstream for about 30 years. Long-playing records, another 30 years or so. CDs, again, mainstream for ~30 years. Many years ago, I somehow thought that we'd be buying "solid state" music on protected memory cards (so we wouldn't accidentally erase them), something with no moving parts. I never imagined that Internet bandwidth to our homes would be sufficient enough to download a CD's worth of lossless files in only a few minutes, nor did I ever forsee storage devices to have so much storage capacity for so little money.

    Maybe not (I don't shop there either), but it will cause CDs to disappear even faster, so it does affect everyone when retailers start removing CD inventory. It will take only one major label to start the trend of offering only downloads for digital music. And I could see a retailer like Amazon jumping more into an on-demand model for CDs, burning them as they are ordered.

    I admit that at the audio show I attended in 2016 (after decades of not being close to one), I was really surprised at how many of the rooms playing digital did not use CD players. Just about all of them used digital files stored on music servers. For the mass market, many are finding that streaming fulfills their needs for $10-$20/month. Kind of a rental model for music, in other words.
  7. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    And here I am, being dragged into the future, kicking and screaming...
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I Quit Shopping Retail music stores Long ago myself and ive seen Amazon offer Cds on Demand For Some Albums as recently as 3 years ago and I think That Will be increasing as well as Labels Cease CD production completely as in the days of Vinyl phaseouts "Its Deja Vu All Over Again".
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I think another thing killing CD's in the retail stores like Target, Barnes &Noble, Best Buy etc..are the prices some of them are asking for CD's. Why would a customer pluck down $12.99-14.99 and some even higher (like B&N) for a CD when they can download it or stream it much cheaper and get it now. It's hurt physical media even more when some downloads also include the booklet as well.

    Yet I haven't abandoned CD's in fact when the last Star Wars movie came out last Dec I had to run to Target to purchase the CD with the trading cards included exclusive of Target. I figured if I had the prior Target exclusives on CD of previous Star Wars movies I just had to get that one as well.

    I know with my Target you can tell over the years the reduction in the amount of CD's on the shelves. Some artist will only have 1 CD when they have put out tons of material and other artist are not even there which is a far cry from how it use to be many years ago.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  10. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that some younger people who are buying vinyl, are doing so for it's "superior" sound quality, but I'd wager that it's only a small percentage. How many of those people are playing their new LPs on Crosley record shredders with built-in speakers, or on a cheap new SONY turntable that outputs to tiny speakers over Bluetooth? At best, they may be hooking up their turntable to a home theater receiver, which applies digital processing (like digital EQ or simulated surround) to the signal, and therefore not experiencing the full benefits of the analog recording.

    I'm willing to bet that, for the non-audiophile majority, the vinyl resurgence is more about the big artwork and liner notes, tactile feel of handling the record, and for the sheer novelty of listening to music "like grandpa did".
  11. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Not only are CD's generally more expensive than downloads, but they aren't as convenient, and for some people, they aren't really an option anymore. It's been years since anyone could buy a Discman - mp3 players killed them off, and now everyone uses their phone as their portable music player. The problem is, it is hard to find a computer with an optical drive in it nowadays. For example, it's already been nearly 5 years since Apple removed the Superdrive from the Macbook Pro and iMac. How is a person who only has a newer computer supposed to rip a CD for their phone? Sure you can buy an external DVD burner, but how many people do that? Also, some newer cars (especially entry level models that appeal to young buyers) don't come with a CD player, but they do have USB and lightening ports.
  12. Consistency of delivery and compatibility of hardware is the problem now. As mentioned, cars and computers are eliminating optical drives. Instead, there are USB ports. But you also can't go to the local store to buy an album on a USB thumb drive. No, you have to go to your computer and the Internet to download files and then put them on a USB stick. Is that convenient? It's not quite as convenient as going into a Tower Record store, buying a CD and popping it into your car's player.

    It's the same with movies and TV shows. All of the media companies are now gunning for Netflix. (Disney is pulling all its media from Netflix.) Hulu and Amazon are in hot competition for streaming movies and TV. Networks are starting their own streaming services (CBS All Access), and to use some of them effectively, you have to be a subscriber to some other service (cable, satellite). Some of these services *might* be available on your smart TV. For others, you need another device like a Roku or Apple TV to receive. Nothing's consistent like it was in the old days. Back then, you wanted to watch HILL STREET BLUES, you had to watch it on a TV that received NBC. That was it. No other choices. But it was free once you owned your TV.

    I can see Blu-rays and DVDs disappearing from the marketplace too. First off, Hollywood DOESN'T WANT YOU OWNING THEIR PRODUCT. They never did, and they never will. They stopped US production of Blu-ray recorders for consumers. They all want to charge their customers every time they want to watch a TV show or movie and have relentlessly pursued that model since the VCR was invented.

    Nothing is going to stop the evolution of change. If CDs are going to die, then so be it. There's nothing we can do to stop it. But I also don't see LPs replacing them bigtime. I think the current fad is just that - a fad that will remain for awhile, and perhaps a niche for true audiophiles. But we've already seen that the media companies will cheap-out and release inferior product because it looks better on their bottom line.
  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Then I would bet Hollywood hates how some of these newer movies are being packaged for sale. Blu Ray/DVD/Digital Download. So not only can you watch it the way you want at home you also can use the digital download code to watch it on your portable device anywhere anytime all of these features in one package for less than $30.00 and lower if you wait and get it after it's been out a while.

    Murray, your exactly right, I forgot about the auto industry. It used to be that new cars came with a 6 CD disc changer either in dash or set up in the truck. Today it's basically a single CD slot in dash but there even getting rid of those. I have a 2011 vehicle and came with a single in dash slot, I rarely ever use it as I have all my media on a flash drive in the arm rest. It works perfectly because it has all the metadata for each song so the album artwork shows up on my navi screen.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  14. They would prefer not to have to package their product that way, but do so because of the competition in the marketplace, and the fact that movies aren't doing as well as they used to in theaters, so the home video version helps their bottom line.
  15. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Let's see... you get up in the morning and skim over the latest posts at A&M corner. Someone has mentioned an album that sounds interesting. You launch iTunes, search for that artist, and 10 seconds later you've found the album. Two clicks and it's purchased, and the album is downloaded by the time your morning coffee is ready. Copy and paste to a USB drive, and it's ready to play on the drive to work. The other option is to go to the record store after work, a 5 mile drive in rush hour traffic (in the opposite direction from home), find a parking space, then wander around the store looking for the CD. If you're lucky, they have a copy in stock. You pay for it, get back to your car, and then spend the next 10 minutes fighting to get the security tape off of the jewel case! :laugh: Now tell me which is the more convenient option.

    That said, I'm old school (actually, just old period! :D ). In most cases, I still prefer to have the physical media, but I can understand why someone younger - who isn't invested in a collection, and lives in a small apartment or condo with limited storage space - would opt for the downloads.
  16. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I agree and I also Agree That Hollywood Doesn't want us to own Any Of their Product That Also includes the Music industry which also wants us to pay Every time we want to hear any music ( if they Had Their way and I'm sure they are working on ways to try and do that) being in freeform radio 22 years we used to do an album preview where every night we played a New release in its entirety it was a decades old tradition until 2006 when the RIAA and the FCC changed the rules which not only No Longer allow it but we are now restricted to a limit of 2 songs per artist per hour of our shows no Blocks of an artist no hour long blocks of an artists which is in my opinion why Radio has been dying they Got so up in arms about Pirateing of music ( thanks to Napster and others) sadly that's why we don't have the variety and diversity we used to have back in the day.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  17. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    One good thing is that vinyl is past the fad/"hipster" stage--it has grown in sales over the past twelve years. The pressing plants aren't investing millions into refurbishing older presses they have purchased (like the presses QRP rebuilt and put online late last year) or building new facilities and buying new presses (like Third Man Records has done locally) without knowing that it will sustain itself.

    CDs won't die completely, as there will always be a niche market for those, and it's a cheap delivery medium today (they can be produced for minimal cost.) There are still millions of players out there as well. But their days as a mass market item are probably coming to a close, especially with the retailers getting anxious about stocking CDs in their inventory. Outside the high-end market, I can't think of any standalone CD players anymore (I saw the Hegel Acoustics "Mohican" last year...the only new CD player I recall at AXPONA), and the "universal" players are about all that is left (such as those from Oppo, Marantz, etc.).

    SACDs are also still being produced, even though they too are a niche item. But they don't sell to the mass market so by default, they are outside the norm in terms of what is selling. Even there, Acoustic Sounds is now selling downloadable DSD files, so in the future there won't even be a need for SACD.

    I mentioned the younger vinyl buyers above--what I have noticed in a couple of record store visits in recent months is that some of the shoppers are younger now, and they are really engaged with the process. One young 20-something lady was discussing different vinyl pressings of a few albums she was looking for with the store's owner, and based on her replies, she already had quite a few records and knew exactly what she had. These aren't the "because vinyl" buyers--these are actually music lovers seeking out music. It's become a social activity as much as it's become listening to and collecting music. It's just good to see--it's putting some of the soul back into listening and collecting (regardless of format).

    It's hard to refer to a server full of music files as a "collection," quite frankly...

    Finally, that's very true about the movie studios--they prefer the "rental" model for dispensing their media. Stream it, rather than own it. That way they're getting a payment each time it's played. One thing that some of us can't figure out is how Netflix can survive at $8/month, yet the music streaming companies are losing money at $10 to $20/month (and the artists get a pittance). This whole streaming thing has to adjust and balance itself out before it can be viable.

    Funny, though...I laugh at the "dragged kicking and screaming" idea regarding downloading as the new "format" for music. It's really not a new concept! :D Go back 30 years, and we were doing the same with many LP and cassette buyers--CDs were an unknown, and an added expense. Why should they change when LPs and cassettes were plenty good for them? Go back 60-70 years, and the shellac folks probably did not feel they should give up their old 78 RPM players for "those modern microgroove records". It's just winds of change in the air, I guess. :D
  18. I just like putting on a record. I also wonder whether there isn't something fundamentally different about musical information being chopped up into 1s and 0s. We and most other stuff are waves, and those waves have been all chopped up and put together again on a CD or online, although I'm sure if the resolution is good enough it shouldn't matter. I can't explain it, but even with Neil Young's online Archives and 96/24 resolution, for instance, I still prefer putting on his records .

    One thing: with so much choice available in online streaming I'm always thinking "I could have been listening to something better". Of course that can happen with records as well, but with more limitations you end up listening to any one thing more often, and having it grow on you.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  19. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    That has somewhat been my feeling also. With CDs, definitely--I never have felt the resolution of 16-bits and 44.1kHz was sufficient to accurately digitize music. Ever since I first noticed it on my system back in the mid 2000s, I hear this faint but fatiguing "buzzsaw" type of distortion to all of the high frequencies on CD. Sad thing is, I had to take a huge jump up in digital playback equipment to improve on it to where it wasn't so audible and I could live with it. It's still there, but not gratingly so. And I'm still looking to upgrade, probably in a couple of years. PS Audio has a couple of innovative solutions that I have been looking into.

    24/88.2 and 24/96 for me is when things start tipping towards sounding more natural. DSD gets even closer, but it is like comparing apples to oranges. It is a 1-bit system sampling at 2.822 MHz (or higher lately)...but it does not sample the same way that PCM digital does, so there is no direct comparison, bit-wise. I've found that for classical especially, DSD gets that similar analog smoothness happening, even on analog recordings that are a few decades old. One thing CD-rate resolution does is kill the reverb trails; the recording sounds more "dry." And if you want to hear something really nasty, find a quieter recording that fades out at the end, and turn the volume all the way up--the music dissolves into fuzzy distortion! (First time I heard this was on "Tea In The Sahara" from Synchronicity, on the original CD release.)

    What I find interesting in my listening is that I prefer high-res digital to vinyl for classical music, especially if it's DSD. For the rest, for sure, I'll take a clean well-pressed LP over digital any day of the week. There is fortunately a lot of classical music released on SACD, so I am lucky to be able to find it in that format.
    dostros likes this.
  20. That's interesting. It makes sense that those kinds of subtleties be affected, at least at lower rates. And over the coarse of a whole disc, that kind of thing would grate on your nerves.
    Rudy likes this.
  21. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Of course as always Preferences will vary but for me The Final test of any music or Format they are produced is the overall sound quality and in those rare instances where Neither Vinyl or CD versions of any album exist ( as has been the case for me over the last 6 years or more) downloads have come in pretty handy and I'm still able to commit them To CD-R for Hard Copy Backups the Goal will always be to have the best sounding audio possible on whatever formats available ( Again Preferences and Milage will vary)
    Rudy likes this.
  22. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    I’m tired of switching formats. Since i’ve Found my way back to vinyl, i’ll Stick with that for some things. I do like my CDs for portability. Same can be said for hi-res players.

    I need to get energetic and back up a bunch of CDs and save some stuff to flash drives. Glad I never invested much money in 8-tracks. That clacking noise when switching tracks was for the birds. :crow:
    dostros, Bobberman and Rudy like this.
  23. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I still have my iPod which has about 6000 songs on it -- the vast majority of my favorites are on it. However it only works about 15% of the time on my vehicle sound system -- which is a major irritation. (The only way I can get the system to "see" it is to unplug/replug it in, which might work, but sometimes takes multiple tries to make it work.) I keep a couple of thumb drives in my junk box which have a lot of my favorites on them. But with those, it's more of a pain to have to search/click/find what you want to hear. I blame this mostly on Ford's Sync interface, which although much improved lately, definitely still needs work.

    With CDs at least I can look at the thing I want, put it in the player and it works 100% of the time. It's funny/sad how we consumers have traded reliability and sound quality for convenience.
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  24. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    If that's for playback in the car, a lot of that depends on how the head unit lists files. Some are frustrating to use, but others are much smoother. It's all over the place!
  25. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Yeah, it's not all that bad, just not as easy as on the iPod. At least the cheapo USB thumb drive will start playing right where it left off every time, as opposed to the $300 iPod which may work, it feels like it, occasionally.

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