Fusion Magazine – 2014
Here’s the latest at All That Music & Video with George Reynoso as featured in this months issue of Fusion Magazine:
What’s the latest new for the music industry?
The digital revolution continues to change the landscape. The biggest turning point has been the decline of the paid digital download. For the second year in a row, download sales are declining at about 15% from the prior year. “Streaming” is now the latest term to describe the new business model embraced by music consumers. Spotify, Rhapsody, and Pandora are a few of the more familiar names that are basically renting subscribers a digital signal to listen to anything, anytime, anywhere on any device of their choice. Compensation to the artist however, is the biggest challenge for the streaming format. On a 99-cent download, an artist can net between 30 to 70 cents, while a streaming sale can net only fractions of a cent. For that reason, there’s a pushback from some notable artists, who are opting-out of participation via this new technology. There’s a heated equity debate happening now among the corporate giants and legal negotiators representing all parties involved.
What about retail?
CD sales continue a slow decline and LP vinyl sales continue to grow. Who would have thought this 20 years ago? We now offer consumers, not only the new, heavier-grade 180-gram vinyl, but also the largest selection of quality vintage vinyl in the region. When vinyl was somewhat in hibernation 20 years ago, one of the smartest things we did was storehouse some 15-20 thousand titles. Those titles have now made it onto our sales floor. Our biggest problem now is finding & keeping high demand records. We find them all the time; we just can’t keep enough of them.
Are you still buying used media?
Yes, of course … but we’ve modified our terms of purchase. I tell people that we don’t buy used collections; rather we evaluate collections for value. Generally 90% of any collection can be categorized as common, meaning that the records you bring in today, someone else will bring in tomorrow. Not that the music is bad …it’s just ordinary – too many copies, with weak or little demand in today’s market. Why would we buy a multiple copy of something that’s already in our understock? Typically, we’ll sort out the records with collectible demand from all others. Based on condition we’ll pay you fairly for the items we can use and offer a small allowance for the common stuff. Every collection is different, but it’s not unusual for us to offer $10 to $30 dollars for a small 3 to 5-inch pile of records. We can then negotiate based on our findings.
What is the value of good quality used records?
The internet has stabilized the real value of any recording. We utilize aggregator sites to determine the real value of almost any record. Price guides are almost worthless now. Before, for example, a record could have a book value of say $30, but our internet research today indicates the same item is now selling in a range of $4 – $12. For that reason our entire stock is being evaluated for re-pricing at a value that better reflects the current market conditions. Most quality vintage records are priced now in the $5 – $9 dollar range. It truly is a buyer’s market and a great time for new collectors. The most popular part of our store though, is the budget area, where buyers can pick up some great (although common) records for as little as $1. It beats having to deal with the hassle of thrift shops & garage sales.
Seems like a lot of new corporate and independent sellers are jumping into the vinyl craze…that’s expected. We see collectors from all over the world though, and they tell us our selection, organization and pricing is as good, as or better than any they’ve seen. Buyers and sellers should take advantage of our 35 years of experience for an honest and realistic approach to music retail. I just want to thank our loyal customer base who have supported us over the years while we continue to navigate the changes to our industry.