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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Of Polls, progress, profits, piracy and portents.

So, the poll closed and the voting public had their say. And very helpful it was too. Half of you said cds, half of you said downloads (approximately). So based on that i am absolutely no further down my decision path. I think i would need a larger sample size but, as i shall come to, it no longer matters.

Progress on the album has leapt forward despite my recent, resurgent cold. We've had Adam in giving the skins a battering, Hils has been back in demonstrating more of her multi-instrumentalist skills and we've also had Mr Chisolm and his banjo joining in the shenanigans.
There's still about half a dozen things left to record and then we're into mixing and mastering; which seems to involve Stew and I getting ever more picky about 64ths of a second until we have to go outside and remind ourselves what the sun looks like. But it's still kind of fun...

Anyway, once we've got the songs finished we've got to decide what to do with them. Or rather, we've decided what to do with them. You see the problem is, people just aren't buying cds any more. Not just my cd i should point out! Even good stuff isn't selling in that format.
And for a tiny label like SOUP they just can't afford the up-front costs of runs of cds and then sitting on the boxes. Basically the profit margin isn't there. And it's not like we can rely on the download sales to offset the initial cost, after the VAT man and Apple have had their chunk there isn't a great deal left.
So sorry to all those folks who were hoping for a cd but unless i can figure out a cheap way of producing a high quality short run, then it's soft copy only from now on.

So why aren't cds selling anymore? Is it because of music piracy? Should we all be rushing out to petition the government to run the digital britain bill through the house as quickly as possible? Should we bollox. It's got bugger all to do with piracy. The buying public has moved on, that's what's happened and we have to move with it. What we should be doing is petitioning our MPs not to sign the digital britain bill because it's a bog-awful piece of knee-jerk, lobbyist-led legislation that cannot be currently implemented and can be abused in the future.
But that's probably a different blog...

And what of our 5th alliteration? Well, i reckon there's two sides to that. Firstly, if musicians can't make money on hard-copy sales and (perversely) there's not enough return on soft-copy sales then you've got to expect gig prices to go up. Or the quality of music to go down i guess, but i doubt it's that straightforward.
But return on investment will have to come from somewhere (and don't give me that "sell t-shirts and signed records" shite; that's for established bands only i'm afraid, otherwise it's just more upfront investment and capital tied up in stock).
Secondly little labels like ours will leave the market, they'll concentrate on areas that will guarantee a living. This, i think, would be a bad thing as it will just further the gap between the major label artists and the bedroom amateurs.

Well, that's tonight's depressing blog. Just remember the good stuff! Album's into the finishing straight now, one day soon we will be finished.
Oh yes, and we're playing at Verve in Leeds on the 15th of april so if you're in the vicinity why not pop in. While it's still free...