August 29, 2005

Ways To Buy Music [9:30 am]

How Do You Catch Your Tunes? [pdf]

“Nobody even knows that Tuesday is album release day anymore,” said Lucas Hayes, a music manager at the store, standing next to a promotional billboard for Ry Cooder’s new album. “Sometimes I have to explain that to people.”

[...] The choices and technologies in music-buying bring to mind the old saying about computers: As soon as you take one out of the box, it’s obsolete. In the case of music, as soon as you decide how to purchase tunes, a new way (or technology) comes along.

“It’s all very complicated, which is just crazy,” said Ted Schadler, a music industry analyst for Forrester Research. “Unless you’re a music lover, maybe you don’t bother with it. It’s hard to find your way around.”

[...] Many music fans find all the choices exhilarating. Many more find it a dizzying mess.

[...] Hayes has also noticed that many music shoppers have a particular affinity for the $8.99 bin — not for the price, though that’s important, but for its contents. He points out an old Ry Cooder album. There’s Billie Holiday. There’s a remastered version of “Ocean Rain,” released by Echo and the Bunnymen way back in time, in 1984.

“That’s a classic album that everyone should own,” Hayes said.

A classic album. That very description has gone classic, too.

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