It appears that this post won’t accept new comments (or accepts, and counts, but doesn’t display them).
That may be a consequence of the work needed to rescue the blog after incredibly heavy traffic (related to that post) shut it down.
So, well, feel free to add your appropriate comments here.
For starters, here are two comments received but apparently not visible:
From El Aura:
Blu-ray probably will not be as successful (ie, reaching the same market share) as the DVD because DVDs are in a sense â€˜good enoughâ€™ and because of the competition from downloads. That is what is compared against, its predecessor.
The predecessor for the Kindle are some earlier Sony eBook devices.
Any judgement or classification needs a benchmark.
From Steven Kaye:
To be fair, thereâ€™s also skepticism that Blu-Ray wonâ€™t be replaced by yet another format in short order, while Kindles can read a variety of file formats.
To El Aura: I think that’s an awfully high benchmark for “success.” I’d suggest that Blu-ray is a success if it’s profitable and achieves mass-market status. (Most companies these days would be delighted with the first criterion…and there are a lot of niche success stories.) I’d also suggest that the predecessor for the Kindle is the Rocket eBook Reader; the Sony is a contemporary competitor. (And at $280 at Target in today’s flyer, I would suggest that Sony hasn’t given up the competition.)
To Steven: Really? I haven’t heard many suggestions of any new physical video format–and Blu-ray players are fully backward compatible with CD and DVD, with most of them also able to handle MP3 CDs, so they can certainly read a variety of file formats. There may be skepticism–but there are also sales an order of magnitude greater than Kindle (that is, >10x as many).
From Russell Frost:
Inevitable can be a difficult word. Â It’s a sword that cuts several ways.
Extend the graph of vinyl sales back just a little beyond the convenient of 1991 and it’s clear where that format is headed. Â Go back just one year, to 1990, and total vinyl LP sales were 38 million. Â Getting excited about 1.88 million vinyl LP sales is something, relative to a specific time period but it’s an awfully tiny share of the market. Â As you said, “small business”. Â Add in the fact that those 1.88 million pieces were shared between a dozen or more companies and then ponder that the two million piece sales mark was a respectable hit for a single title from one artist but by no means a blockbuster a mere twenty years ago and you have, perhaps, some better perspective on vinyl sales. Â Keep in mind that even during the early boom years of the CD vinyl sales were in the hundreds of millions. Â In the three years from 2005 to 2008, digital download sales went from (as charted by the RIAA) zero to over 50 million.
Vinyl is cool and there is a case to be made for the album format as it relates to some music. Â The idea however that vinyl is resurgent in any real sense of the word is silly. Â At least at this point and I would tend to think, forever. Â LPs died for a reason and that reason is usually ignored by the more romantic amongst us who are either fans of the medium or simply misinformed. Â It doesn’t surprise me that maybe 50,000 or 60,000 people still buy vinyl but again, that’s very small potatoes in the context of the US market.
And make no mistake the public walked away from the vinyl LP format because the vast majority of people felt they were served better by different technology. Â And in most senses, I would tend to agree with them.
So when discussing perceptions versus reality I would gently suggest that perhaps the vinyl LP example did not demonstrate what you intended.
My response: I’m one of those who abandoned vinyl and never looked back. My comment in the original post may have been misleading, but what I was saying is that vinyl did not die, even though its role in the marketplace changed from being a major force to a niche market. (I was about to say “the dominant playback medium,” but fact is audiocassettes outsold vinyl before CDs came along!)
You’re absolutely right that LPs are no longer a major market, and probably never will be. But they’re not dead. They’ve become an interesting little niche market. There are lots of interesting little niche markets around…if you believe some who throw around the word “inevitable,” everything’s becoming a niche market anyway.