Friday, 12 January 2007

Bin there, done that Jamelia - 12th January,,4-2007010734,00.html

Odd article today about CDs being sold at reduced prices. It's a fair point that Jamelia's latest album being available for £3.97 after less than 4 months in the shops is quite a drop, but as Vicky herself says, it's the January sales and the album didn't sell well. It's not that big a shock.

"the cover price has dropped by nearly a tenner from £12.99"

In the "big grocery chains" Vicky specifies, you'd have been struggling to find Jamelia's CD for more than £9.97 the day it came out. Each of the "Big 4" (Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Morrisons) sell single-disc chart CDs for under a tenner.

"Jamelia's record label have clearly accepted a huge loss to improve flagging sales."

If the record label is trying to improve the chart position, they would have had to sell each CD to the retailer for at least £6, otherwise it wouldn't be eligible for the main album chart (that's one of the rules set out by the Official Charts Company). The people losing out are the retailers if they paid £6 or more for the CD in the first place.

The other examples Vicky gives of albums available for low prices are rather flimsy, too. Let's see how long these releases have been available:

Journey South - Journey South - 10 months
Babyshambles - Down In Albion - 1 year 2 months
Son of Dork - Welcome To Loserville - 1 year 2 months
Fatboy Slim - Palookaville - 2 years 3 months
Joss Stone - Mind, Body & Soul - 2 years 4 months

All the article demonstrates is that Vicky has little awareness of how the music industry and retail work. Albums don't have infinite shelf-life, they will only sell in large quantities for a short time (if at all). Albums that keep selling enough to be high in the charts even 6 months after release, let alone after more than 2 years, are few and far between. Some of the examples she gives above didn't even sell well in their first month.

Over time, less people will want to pay full price for something that isn't 'new', so record companies drop their dealer price of each CD, and so retailers sell them for less. The majority of CDs you find in a "sale" in somewhere like HMV or Virgin are new stock that has been bought in by the stores at a reduced dealer price - it's not necessarily the shop getting rid of unpopular stock they can't sell.

Bit of a rant there, but it just demonstrates how one small fact (in this case Jamelia's album being cheap) can lead to the writing of a pointless feature based on the simple fact that sometimes you can buy CDs at a lower price than they were before. And this from "Showbiz Journalist of the Year"?

1 comment:

infinitemuppets said...

Loving your work. Keep fighting the frightful.