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Thread: A music publishing puzzle

  1. #1
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Default A music publishing puzzle

    I’m puzzled.

    A week ago Deutsche Grammophon issued a new box set of Beethoven’s symphonies, Andris Nelsons conducting the Vienna Philharmonic. This looks to be a quality cycle, and Amazon is selling it for a quality price.

    However, the Universal Music Group, which owns DG, has posted the entire cycle on YouTube, where anybody can stream it for free. Granted the sonics may be somewhat compromised, but that probably won’t matter to most people. And the streaming revenues to UMG and the Vienna Phil are likely to be modest – to put it mildly.

    It seems to me that streaming, which generates miniscule revenues, will cannibalize sales of the physical media in a big way. Why would a label do this? Anybody know?


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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    DG seems to be following a growing trend for publishing content: they’re only publishing each movement separately rather than an entire disc a time and that’s more inconvenient for anyone who wants to download or copy the entire box set. But it could still be done if one wanted to spend the time. So they’re publishing all the material with the greater likelihood that the listener would rather have the convenience of the discs. This looks like a growing trend in advertising because one can still sample any part of the online discs that can lead to a greater incentive to buy. However it would still be possible to hear the entire box set online with a playlist. I’ve seen this approach to advertising before and perhaps this is why they’re doing it. It still brings exposure to these new recordings.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-11-2019 at 23:57.
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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    DG seems to be following a growing trend for publishing content: they’re only publishing each movement separately rather than an entire disc a time and that’s more inconvenient for anyone who wants to download or copy the entire box set. But it could still be done if one wanted to spend the time. So they’re publishing all the material with the greater likelihood that the listener would rather have the convenience of the discs. This looks like a growing trend in advertising because one can still sample any part of the online discs that can lead to a greater incentive to buy. However it would still be possible to hear the entire box set online with a playlist. I’ve seen this approach to advertising before and perhaps this is why they’re doing it. It’s still brings exposure to these new recordings.
    I hear ya! But in this case somebody has already made a playlist of the entire box set, so it's easy enough for anybody to hear any symphony with a single click.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nZyVty9QhcNFN_qKW7z9ZsK2lHIs qAfPw
    Last edited by KenOC; Oct-11-2019 at 23:11.


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    These uploads that have "Artist's name - Topic" as the channel are auto-generated by YouTube for the purposes of copyright control by the publisher. So if you now purchase the box set and upload the tracks to YouTube, UMG or DG can use this existing content to copyright strike your post/upload. These types of posts by the recording companies aren't necessarily meant to generate streaming revenues.

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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    The whole album is also available on Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/album/5XCU5seho8gb2WzujQ31nv

    I suppose the clever actuaries employed by Universal must have predicted it would make money in terms of overall revenue, otherwise they would not have done it.

    Surely, sound quality is compromised, but I have always believed the majority of customers don't care, or don't even want to care, while the extra-musical and extra-sonic *convenience* that Streaming sells is a direct hit at most people's lifestyle, therefore Streaming is the way to go. Discs and Downloads have already been relegated to a niche market.

    Interestingly, an AN-hater like me would never buy this set (discs or download), but out of curiosity, I have sampled around 1/3 of this set on Spotify, and Universal must have already made money (although perhaps only pennies) out of my actions. Not bad as a business.

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