Wal-mart Cutting Back on CD Sales?
According to a guy who knows a guy whose cousin married a stockholder who sits on the board of a former roommate of a guy who hangs out at Wal-mart... the store seems to be cutting back 500 feet of CD shelf space to make room for iPod accessories. This makes a couple of statements:
- CD Sales are not as profitable as that occasional iPod accessory
- Wal-mart is practical about monitoring its sales revenues and making adjustments as needed, despite industry pressure
- CD Sales are simply not profitable in comparison to the typical 30% and up markup offered by most accessory-style retail products.
- The RIAA has just lost a TON of its market positioning
This move should make the RIAA squirm, however it is uncertain what the real or practical result will be. If past history is any indication, the record industry will be reactive instead of proactive and the market will simply force its hand over time as it always has.
I for one am looking forward to the day music either takes a dramatic leap forward in technology or moves to a different medium altogether. The way it exists now, industry moguls are stuck between a rock and a hard place:
- The rock: CDs can be easily copied
- The hard place: Online music is DRM-controlled and, while they still only toss 10% to artists, it doesn't yet equate to the level of money they make off CD sales and inflated markups.
A possible solution? As always a two-fold approach: online music for MP3 players and people who don't care, and high resolution protected music for everyone else. Too bad they are again letting a pair of protected formats (BD and HD DVD) slip by. The failure to latch onto the well-protected DVD-Audio and SACD formats eluded me - and it looks like they are simply doing it again - and will continue to do so until they are forced to acknowledge a different, less effective move.
All it really leaves us with is something we paid for that wont work on half of our electronic devices and we cannot do with what we please. Its like trying to put some HDCP crap on a book. Whats the point.
Perhaps we should just go back to vinyl records. Considering they arent as easy to copy as cd's are. Think about it. I can copy a HDCP locked down disc the same way I would copy a record. At some point in the chain the signal will have to be converted to analog because our brains do not recieve digital information.
uh oh..... that brings up another idea. What if someday we have HDMI plugs on the back of our heads with feeds direct to the brain for a secure digital connection?
So it is being tried.
Until digital connections are fully protected and the analog hole is closed, we will not see any HD Audio or HD classic movie content of any real substance. This could take another year or two, at least.
There would be riots in the streets today with so many non compliant displays and AV receivers already purchased in the recent past, should they decide to fully implement HDCP.
Thats the primary reason DVD Audio and SACD failed IMO. Still required multiple analog connections and an unwillingness to remaster our classic favorites by the music industry.
P.S. Copyright protection is a falacy that the movie and music industry still cling to although every sofware attempt to prevent it has failed and will fail. They never learn. I have an idea for them. Require that all music be recorded on blank CD\DVDs that are supplied by the content providers that are made nearly impossible to counterfeit like American paper money. A hologram or watermark technique.