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 Post subject: CD:s and DVD:s on Piano Society
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:26 am 
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Dear Members,

I have gotten questions several times since the beginning of PS regarding selling of CDs and DVDs from PS. So far I have always turned them down and main reason is lack of time from my side.

But it seems like many pianists are interested in launching their own material not only in a free downloadable MP3 (or videos) files but also on a genuine CD or DVD. The problem out on Internet seems to be that there are few sites on Internet (but from Naxos) which focus on Classical Music and at the same time are not a giant industry where the pianist only is given a small percentage of the actual income. Therefore, I am planning to launch a concept where any pianist on this site is given the possibility to sell their own CD/DVD from the site and is given about 75% of the actual income. I have already verified the technique for creating carts and transfer money and that should not be a problem unless the pianist lives in a financial unreliable country.

The administration and shipping is always an issue as it takes some time to burn the CD/DVD, attach the label, print the cover, put the CD/DVD in a cage and write the address and then post it. But with todays technique, it has never been more easy to create your own production. If I am about to handle this, I must be certain to cover the costs and also have some margins for the work which should go to the site.

So why from PS? The reasons are simple as we have a huge amount of visitors on the site and we focus on classical music, it is more likely that someone will find your product here.

I will not accept recordings from pianists who is not present on the site so the normal submission and acceptance procedure will not change. Also, I do not expect this to explode in any way but more think of this as a experimental project which could be fun for the individuals on PS.

So with this topic, I would like to give you active members a chance to give your points of views. So do you have any?

(Perhaps I should not have put this in the Audition Room but you seem miss topics (so do I) not posted in this category.)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:15 pm 
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I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I don't get this. Don't people just download pieces they like onto their mp3 players? Or they can burn their own cd's by copying these recordings and doing it on their computer? Maybe you're talking about people who can't do any of that? Or maybe it's for the members here who already have professional cd's and can sell them here? It sounds like a lot of work for you, Robert, unless you mean that the member should do the burning, putting label on, shipping etc...

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Seems like Monica's got a good point there. Why would someone pay, say, 5 bucks, for a CD that they can create themselves, with their favourite combination of pieces, for almost nothing ? People who got so far as to find our site and sample the music, will most likely download whatever they want and store it any way they want.

Actually the trend in music industry seems to be going towards subscription download systems rather than producing CD's. I'd not be surprised if CD's are all but gone in a couple of years (not sure about DVD's ).

A reason why people could prefer a CD above mp3's is sound quality. I am not sure that we could guarantee a good enough sound quality and recording/burning process to warrant using CD's. Most of our pianists' recordings are not of CD quality except perhaps the ones that came from a CD.

I also can't see the numbers and margins becomong large enough to make any money on this, in proportion to the work that needs to be put in.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 6:28 pm 
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I agree with you both that many people enjoy creating their own content on their own CDs but actually, quite some people buy CDs too if they really like an artist. Not because they want better quality but rather that they think the artist deserves the money. The industry has actually changed a bit the last two years and CDs are selling better again. Not in ordinary CD stores (I believe that is a dead end) but with Internet as a distribution channel and there are new sites arising. CDbaby.com sell over 500,000 CDs per year and with rather unknown artists and groups.

But I too have doubts and that is the reason for this topic. I can also be honest to say that I look for ways to provide a more secure and reliable income for Piano Society. I get a lot of donations from you and that has work well over my expectations and I am forever thankful but as the popularity grows, that will just not be enough. We consume more and more bandwidth and I would also like to change hardware not far away in time.

Another approach is what Chris mentions and that is to pay to download recordings. The technical solution as Naxos has is difficult to implement but there are more simple solutions. One way is that every pianist on this site can choose which recordings that can be downloaded for free and then there are pay recordings (videos, etc.). For each pianist, you buy a year subscription for all his or her recordings. Perhaps for $10 or something (the pianist can decide themselves recordings and sum). It could also be possible to buy access to all recordings on the site. Then the pianist get 75%, PS 25%. Perhaps this is better as I honestly do not look forward to pack and ship CDs :?.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
robert wrote:
Perhaps this is better as I honestly do not look forward to pack and ship CDs :?.



put your kids to work :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Posts: 167
Location: Canada
With all due respect for the administrators, I don't like the idea of starting to charge either the listeners or the pianists here. This is an excellent site, which unlike others, provides a wonderful service at absolutely no cost to the listeners. My own students use this site as a resource for recordings, to get ideas of what pieces they would like to prepare for the advanced exams. Well before I even dreamed of submitting my own recordings here, I was listening to recordings on the site, often shocked that they wouldn't cut off after 30 seconds unless I gave money, and I thought, "Wow, what an incredible service this site provides", and does not request money, like all others seem to. When I look at the Download Stats page from time to time, I wonder who is listening to my own recordings, for example, and hope that many are listening because they are learning a particular piece they need ideas on, and so will be grateful to have such a free resource.

Perhaps there is a generous corporate sponsor out there who would be quite impressed with what goes on here, especially from an educational standpoint, and help to fund the site. Maybe an educational institute would be pleased to give a large donation or a government grant for arts continuation could be requested?

Nicole Muller


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:29 am 
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Location: Cedarville University
i also side with nicole. this really is a wonderful resource and it would be a shame to have to charge to cover costs. i wish there was an easier fix to the finance problem.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 4:43 am 
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Location: Sweden
It is not that all recordings would be pay recordings and it must be obvious on the links which ones that are pay recordings so that all visitors realize that immediately. Perhaps in 1 year from now, 60% of the recordings would still be for free. Also, I am pretty sure most pianists would not be interested as we all have income originating from an ordinary job. But for professional pianists, this could be a way to be provided with an extra income as being a pianist is not exactly a gold mine and I thought that PS could help the pianists on the way and at the same time financially secure the site.

There is another solution to get some income but there is another kind of risk involved. I have been contacted by a person from the music industry in Sweden. They are interested of the concept and is fascinated how PS have been able to gather such a large community and become such a frequently visited site. They look for new ways for their business but the risk for PS is obvious. No matter how generous they seem at first, they want something back at last and that will be money. I am not sure whether they actually want me or the site to start growing from but I have agreed to discuss it further as I can of course always say no.

Another possibility is of course the most obvious and that is advertising. But we have tried that in the past and donations actually brings in more money than google ads or similar. I had a very low hit rate using google ads no matter how I experimented. It would probably be better to have Yamaha, Kawai or other sponsors to provide a larger sum of money for exclusive right to commercials on the site. They should be interested don't you think? But they do not respond to email so perhaps I should try sending ordinary snail mails or call them to arrange a meeting. I have a little contract with Pianoteq but I know the Swedish sales guy in person so that was more a nice gesture from my side than a real business deal. Anyone having good contacts within the music business?

Last solution is that someone buy Secode.com (where I work) in which I own a significant amount of shares (I am one of the founders), becomes filthy rich, quit my ordinary job and do this for fun for free the rest of my life. My donation to the human kind. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:16 am 
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Robert - Since this is your site, you can do anything you want with it. I think it is nice that you are asking for our opinions, though. So here are mine: I'm not crazy about the first option (having some other company take over) You always hear about some dot-com company being taken over, and then when things don't go the way they expected, they just close it down. I really like the 2nd option (have a piano company sponsor). I would think one of those companies would jump at the chance to have their logo prominently displayed. Wish I knew someone there, but I don't. I can do a little research if you like, try to find the right contact person at various piano manufacturing companies.
But the third option is the best. I'll buy your company. :wink:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


Last edited by pianolady on Wed May 09, 2007 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Location: Cedarville University
i might know of someone with a connection to yamaha. i'll talk to him this weekend.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 6:23 am 
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joeisapiano wrote:
i might know of someone with a connection to yamaha. i'll talk to him this weekend.

I would be extremely thankful for that!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 1:34 am 
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Location: New Zealand
I definitely think paying for recording is much better than Selling CDs and DVDs.
But still free is the best :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 7:00 am 
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pianolady wrote:
But the third option is the best. I'll buy your company. :wink:

That sounds fine! Well, my shares would do for me. Lets make it $1 per share shall we? That would be enough 8).

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