Keeping Dusty Music Alive

While the RIAA kvetches and whines about how the continuing rise of CD-R technology is supposedly hurting record sales, Smithsonian-Folkways — purveyors of all those crusty old albums by Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie (not to mention mid-century field recordings of Mongolian throat singers) — has seen its sales rise 33% in the past year. How? By using on-demand CD-R burning to keep their massive back-catalog alive. Rather than let important but slow-to-sell music go quietly out of print, they burn CDs whenever customers order from the back catalog: one copy for the current order and four more for future orders. No inventory sitting around, no music forgotten to history, no customers turned away. This makes me smile.

Thanks bIPlog.

Music: Brian Eno :: Compact Forest Proposal, Condition 7

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