Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Like Old Music On Compact Discs? Sony Has a Deal For You.

It’s hard for many of us to imagine, especially those who read Web sites like this one, but it’s true: People are still buying compact discs.

Lots of people, actually. We’re more than a decade past Napster, and eight years past iTunes, but the majority of the music industry’s revenue still comes from discs.

Even for new stuff! In the same week that Amazon all but gave away digital copies of Lady Gaga’s new album last month, discs made up almost half of her sales.

Amazing!

My hunch is that, increasingly, the people who are buying music in physical form are divided into two groups. There are the people buying it as an afterthought along with gum and other impulse buys stacked near the cash register. And there are the people buying it because they really like stuff — physical, tactile stuff — which might be as important as the music itself.

Here’s stuff for the latter group: Lavish boxed sets from Sony, via its Pop Market Web store. These are collections of ye olde timey music, designed to appeal to generations who remember the world before Netscape and who most likely remember the world before FM radio, too.

Perhaps the kind of people who would drop $99 on an 11-disc Aretha Franklin set. Or $80 on the Byrds. Or maybe even $269 on Miles Davis. (Thanks to Digital Music News for flagging.)

Some of you may be stifling the impulse to titter here. But these things do well for Sony, with good reason: As long as you have an interest in owning and/or playing compact discs, you’re getting good bang for your buck when it comes to the music, at least in raw tonnage.

And if you’re into looking at 5-inch by 5-inch reproductions of old album covers, etc., you’ll be doubly pleased. Nothing wrong with that.

Okey doke. I’m off to hear new stuff at Turntable.fm.


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