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$3.50 Pabst / $4 album ?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 

$3.50 Pabst / $4 album ?

Today I watched a good friend of mine drink a $3.50 cup of Pabst in 8 minutes. I bought him the drink, and left the buck tip. He started waxing poetically about the corrupt music business, and how he hasn't bought a CD in six months (yet somehow has tons of new music on his Ipod). I glared. Sip, gurgle. "Mmmm, I'm going to get another beer".

So I ask you this ... imagine you had to price an album. Imagine there were no labels, no distributors, and no middlemen retailers. Artist to Customer direct.

Imagine the quality was pristine and it cost $0.10 in bandwidth costs to deliver the files. Imagine ALL the money went to the artist, who in turn used a portion of the funds to pay you, the studio owner and engineer, and a producer. Promotion was handled by sites like Pandora which deliver highly niche, customized radio (so, basically, free).

How much would you charge for the album? Could you go low enough to make piracy seem like a waste of time, yet also assure a decent budget for what you do best (record records).

I think albums could go as low as $6, while keeping all the parties mentioned above very happy. For a well known artist who expected to sell over 50K albums, you could go down to $4.

Thoughts?

John

Last edited by astorian; 3rd September 2007 at 07:55 AM.. Reason: typop
Old 3rd September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Wow. Pabst is usually $2 around here. $1 during Happy hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post

I think CDs could go as low as $6, while keeping all the parties mentioned above very happy. For a well known artist who expected to sell over 50K albums, you could go down to $4.

I understand your sentiment, but produts that are in higher demand, that the consumer has more of an incentive to buy, will never cost less than a product that fewer people care about and can't easily be defined as 'better'.

Having said that, I would buy 4 times as many CDs if they were readily available in stores for $4-$6. Unfortunately, those prices can't support the distribution of physical CD's to stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
Imagine the quality was pristine and it cost $0.10 in bandwidth costs to deliver the files.
Wait, so you're not talking about CDs..... I'm confused.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
Wait, so you're not talking about CDs..... I'm confused.
Whoops. Dumb of me. I am referring to an album for download (changed in post).

$3.50 Pabst is a crime in itself.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
one day man will be able to d/l pabst. utopia awaits!
Old 3rd September 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeroc View Post
one day man will be able to d/l pabst. utopia awaits!
But then,...does he just get a virtual headache?......or a real one?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #6
and what if the upload speed isn't fast enough to handle the quantities of virtual vomit?!
Old 3rd September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
reid's Avatar
 

For us european cheese eating surrender monkeys - what's PABST?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #8
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reid View Post
For us european cheese eating surrender monkeys - what's PABST?
Pabst Blue Ribbon beer......an American favorite at barbecues from sea to shining sea.

Factoid:
Did you know that while 32 Budweiser cans will fit on the top of a Fender Twin Reverb, that same amp will hold 34 Pabst cans?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #9
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Sigma's Avatar
PBR is $11.75 for 30 cans here..that bar's markup is obscene..PBR is the swill of brewed beer
Old 3rd September 2007
  #10
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Sugarnutz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reid View Post
For us european cheese eating surrender monkeys - what's PABST?
The source of an untold number of DUIs and spousal abuse claims in the US.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #11
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Jamz's Avatar
Went deep sea fishing a few weeks ago...Pabst $1 per can.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #12
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frans's Avatar
Sorry guys, but I have to get that off my chest:

US beer, the Behringer of beverages.


There might be small breweries that are up to snuff, but the fluid the big corporate breweries sell... oh man... This does not belong here too much and I don't want to piss off any fellow slutz, honestly. You poor, poor folks.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #13
FNM
Gear Maniac
 

Well as they say, if you can't have a good time with U.S. beer, then it ain't the beers fault.

I think music and beer at the bar are both way overpriced. I blame accountants.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #14
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
US beer, the Behringer of beverages.
Heard an appropriate joke yesterday from a friend just back from the UK.

She asked, "Why is US beer like making love in a boat?"
Old 3rd September 2007
  #15
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Heard an appropriate joke yesterday from a friend just back from the UK.

She asked, "Why is US beer like making love in a boat?"
"They are both f****** close to water", she said as I popped another Bud.

Off color and off topic......my apologies.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
And what's up with taking 8 minutes to drink a cup of that swill...?

Lightly sipping to enjoy the... flavor...?

Although if it cost $3.50, maybe I'd be sipping it too.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #17
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Sorry guys, but I have to get that off my chest:

US beer, the Behringer of beverages.

There might be small breweries that are up to snuff, but the fluid the big corporate breweries sell... oh man... This does not belong here too much and I don't want to piss off any fellow slutz, honestly. You poor, poor folks.
No offense taken here. It's funny, but for the amount of beer the mega-breweries sell, I don't know very many people who will drink it. (or at least who will admit to it) When I worked in a liquor store I found their main demographic to be a very small group of people who drink a very large amount of beer.

As for good beer, well, there's a small brewery every 50ft in the US. And if that's not good enough, we import.
Old 4th September 2007
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Audiophile20's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
So I ask you this ... imagine you had to price an album. Imagine there were no labels, no distributors, and no middlemen retailers. Artist to Customer direct.

Imagine the quality was pristine and it cost $0.10 in bandwidth costs to deliver the files. Imagine ALL the money went to the artist, who in turn used a portion of the funds to pay you, the studio owner and engineer, and a producer. Promotion was handled by sites like Pandora which deliver highly niche, customized radio (so, basically, free).

How much would you charge for the album? Could you go low enough to make piracy seem like a waste of time, yet also assure a decent budget for what you do best (record records).

I think albums could go as low as $6, while keeping all the parties mentioned above very happy. For a well known artist who expected to sell over 50K albums, you could go down to $4.

Thoughts?

John
There are people that do this and sell their cd's for $4-$6. But these cd's are far from "pristine" quality.

and....Hoegaarden ftw.
Old 4th September 2007
  #19
.

can't compete with free.

it's the end of the world as we know it.


.
Old 4th September 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Actually pabst used to be good !
The guy who runs SPRECHER beer was the last Good brew master .
It was sold off in the early 90s and like all other great american breweries , started putting out cheap production swill . Blatz /Schlitz/Pabst ect Just do low cost prodution now and its a shame . But thats buisness .
Do not pay 3.50 for a pabst
Good God you can get a case for 10.00 bucks in milwaukee .
sorry
back to audio
Old 4th September 2007
  #21
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

amazing 2 piece - 200 grams each double lp vinyl will be the medium
that sounds better than any recorded music ever has and will make money
for the people selling it......
it can not be easily reproduced
it is physical.....
to a generation of kids raised on disposable everything the appeal
of 100 % analog vinyl - great songs - great singers - great players -
playing live - that freaks all the kids out who come by here....
late teens - early twenties: they know that the record companies have nothing
to offer - they are hungry for something to believe in

as someone who believes completely in analog audio and that digital
destroyed the great legacy of american music along with midi and mtv -
(it also took communities of people and alienated them - better music was
made by 20 people sharing a large studio and playing live than is created by
20 individuals making music on laptops, in my opinion)
i get a thrill watching 20 year olds hear 2" 16 track next to the pro tools rig - when
they know that the old machine sounds 100 times better than the new one.......
it's so immediate - in the room - in the body language


if there was a great future in this digital paradigm - analog would have long since
disappeared as the role model - but it continues - there is no beatles or stevie wonder of the pro tools era - they don't exist.

i don't think there is any way to dress up an mp3
ironically, the internet has made vinyl viable
and growing.....


be well

- jack
Old 4th September 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

sorry for the pabst response dfegad
Im drinking it now
Old 4th September 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

what i have seen alot in england is the
4 song sampler cd that is free......
to my mind i would rather give away free cd's and get people
to buy the vinyl or the full length or
a t-shirt or a ticket than to have an mp3 represent
the work out in the world......
mp3 cause headaches - they are a tragic thing.
i also like the the vinyl/cd/mp3 combo - you can only buy
all three - give away the ones you don't want



be well

- jack
Old 4th September 2007
  #24
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Unclenny's Avatar
These various discussions of how technology (be it in recording or playback media) will affect our commercial future are crucial.

As said on so many similar threads, this industry is evolving....and constant dialog is a great instrument of change.

As far as vinyl......I wish it were so.
My fourteen year old son was poking through a box of records the other day....in the storage shed. He was interested in the art. We took one out and talked about the sound quality and he listened respectfully....for a short while.

I could tell that he was experiencing a serious disconnect between that scratched up copy of 'Freak Out' and the IPod in his pocket.
Old 4th September 2007
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Here is what I do know ...

On-Topic

$3.50 is too expensive for a beer, but bars are filled with people paying $20 for a couple rounds. These very same people scoff at the thought of buying albums. This is absolutely insane, and represents a devaluation of our art form. But as time passes, people expect to get more and more music for free ... whether it is legal downloads, or plain old piracy. There is a lot of money to be made, and my guess is that unless we're careful musicians are going to take the same cut or less, and the Itunes of the world are going to swimming in dough.

The argument that the record business is corrupt, and behind the times is perfectly valid. But who are people kidding when they justify piracy with this argument as if they are doing us all a favor! You're still stealing from the artist.

Piracy does not help artists. Free, promotional downloads help artists. Piracy is stealing.

Do people really think that artists are going to get any less screwed when corporate websites stream their music for a monthly subscription fee, or they receive a share of ad revenue? Nope. Because most musicians need at least a small infusion of cash to record their record, buy their van, promote, and tour. The folks who make these loans ... label or no label ... are always going to have you by the testicles.

But artists are going to make money by playing live? I've heard this as an excuse for piracy as well. "Well, the record business is ****, and I go the shows anyway". Playing live takes LOTS of money -- way more than making a record if you plan to do it regularly.

I tell ya. Yes, there is a paradigm shift on the horizon. But no artist should fool themselves and keep their guard down. Don't sit back and assume that a CD-Baby fueled, MySpace supported, shangri la awaits. These people want to make MONEY by using your intellectual property. And this whole cottage industry built up around DIY musicians ... Sonicbids, Garageband, independent PR, pluggers, etc ... they want your MONEY as well, and they are more than happy to paint this idyllic picture of the music revolution. Plus, most are musicians who couldn't "make it" and happened to know how to build websites. Just following these steps ...

I always laugh when I get an email from a friend asking me to vote for their band on some site. They've exchanged their intellectual property (and driven tons of traffic to a site) for the chance at winning some ****ty equipment.

Bottom line is that the music revolution demonstrates a shift. The value is shifting from what labels used to do, to the inherent value in well- recorded, unique, amazing, niche-driven music. We drive this value, and we need to fight for (and increase) the money we receive in exchange for our art.

John
Old 4th September 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

people scoff at buying records because the 80's and 90's involved a betrayal of
the buying public that occured simultaneously with rising cd costs. bad, bad combo.
trust is paramount. a label with a roster of pure talent could sell records right now.
i don't know who this label is. but mp3's and pro tools are not the way to get
there......even if they can not articulate it, the public can hear fraud and ****ty
sounding production - someone who can't find $1200 of tape to make a record has no business making a record in my opinion.......
i know people who let their phones go, and they buy tape
quality
trust.
truth
time
real players
real singers


be well


- jack
Old 4th September 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
No offense taken here. It's funny, but for the amount of beer the mega-breweries sell, I don't know very many people who will drink it. (or at least who will admit to it) When I worked in a liquor store I found their main demographic to be a very small group of people who drink a very large amount of beer.

As for good beer, well, there's a small brewery every 50ft in the US. And if that's not good enough, we import.
Yes...microphones and beer. A cheers out to our German bros.......

...even though I'm a Newcastle man myself.....

m
Old 4th September 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post


$3.50 is too expensive for a beer, but bars are filled with people paying $20 for a couple rounds. These very same people scoff at the thought of buying albums.

Bottom line is that the music revolution demonstrates a shift. The value is shifting from what labels used to do, to the inherent value in well- recorded, unique, amazing, niche-driven music.
Yeah, but if you could download beer, people wouldn't pay for it either.
Old 4th September 2007
  #29
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
How much would you charge for the album? Thoughts?

John

I remember when $7.99 was called "the nice price." But that was a CD with distribution costs, artwork and album printing, etc. I say $5 for a 10 song CD. That is half the itunes rate and the artist would still make more money.
Old 4th September 2007
  #30
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
Yeah, but if you could download beer, people wouldn't pay for it either.
Brilliant!!! That should go in the book of great gearslut comments!
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