Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Phil Collins And Unintended Consequences.


CDs were promoted in terms of sound quality and digital compression. They were also smaller. But marketing expert, Phil Collins made the interesting point that it's also the first time music was one-sided. While this means that you don't have to turn it over, it also means that you don't need to be encouraged to turn it over.

Prior to this, albums were created so that the first and last track on each side were particularly strong. They focussed on keeping the listener excited/empassioned and wanting to turn over. On CDs, it's alleged that the first three or four tracks are the strong ones and the rest are filler because the assumption is that people will relisten to those and not go too deep into the album.

Whether or not that's true, it's clear how people would react. They would realise what was going on and, once the technology arrived, they would opt to download only those tracks they wanted and completely undermine an industry.

That's what happens if you don't bother to enthuse your users. They may not have to turn over anymore, but they will always have the option to turn off.

11 Comments:

Anonymous shishir said...

Its just a waste of resources. Imagine a cd played on both side doble benefit.

10:58 AM, January 05, 2009  
Blogger Rob @ Cynic said...

So basically CD's allowed artists to be lazy? No wonder the record companies got screwed ...

4:36 PM, January 05, 2009  
Blogger eaon pritchard said...

doubt if true artists are that cynical. lesson is: don't buy shit music.
To quote Bob Lefsetz 'we dont have a piracy problem, we have a MUSIC problem'

12:58 AM, January 06, 2009  
Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

Apparently there was a survey that said track 7 on a cd is (on average) the best.

Did you know that CD's stored 74 mins of music because that was the length of the Head of Sony (I think its Sony who developed it, possibly from Phillips) 's favourite piece of classical music?

It wasn't the first though. The 8track did that and it bombed.

3:30 AM, January 07, 2009  
Blogger blaiq said...

@Rob: "Philips' plan for a CD with a 11.5cm diameter had to be changed when Sony insisted that a disc must hold all of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

The longest recording of the symphony in record label Polygram's archive was 74 minutes and so the CD size was increased to 12cm diameter to accommodate the extra data."

More CD trivia here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6950933.stm

7:23 AM, January 07, 2009  
Blogger john dodds said...

@eaon Having worked in the industry - trust me they are - and old Phil shifteed a few units in his time. That said, I agree with pretty much everything Lefsetz ever writes.

4:20 PM, January 07, 2009  
Blogger Gavin Heaton said...

I remember noticing the quality of albums diminishing with the introduction of CDs. Now, when you can purchase single tracks, the sense of a "whole" album seems lost. Call me old fashioned, but I liked that sense of curation.

3:39 AM, January 08, 2009  
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