Troubling CD sales figures

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frontrowcentre2
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joined:2/20/05
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Troubling CD sales figures#0
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:15pm
Some recent sales figures are sobering.

Many BWW members wonder why some shows - particularly revivals (which were previously recorded by their ORIGINAL original cast) and jukebox shows (where the songs are better done by the original artists.)

Record labels understand one thing only: sales.

Last week SPAMALOT sold less that 10,000 units. And it was the best selling cast album of the week! (2nd place goes to LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA with just over 5,000 copies sold.)

ALTAR BOYZ sold just over 500 copies. LITTLE WOMEN barely 1,000.

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS to date has sold 10,000 copies (not including all the giveaways.)

These, needless to say, are not spectacular numbers.

My question to BWW members is...which of the new scores have you purchased and which ones did you bypass, and WHY did you NOT buy the titles you decided not to get? Was it because you could get free copies from friends or online? Was it because you didn't like a score?

I don't get it. We have a group of dedicated theatre fans here and our collective buying must have more of an impact than this.

What are you buying or not buying... and why?


Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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CapnHook
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#1
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:19pm
I am truly sorry I purchased the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels CD. Very disappointed with that score. But in the end, I am glad I am supporting the show.

The other question is - WHICH CAST RECORDING DID YOU BURN FROM A FRIEND?

I've had people here at BWW PM me to ask "Do you have this CD? Can you send it to me through AIM?" STOP SHARING MUSIC! SAVE AND BUY THE CD!

On the plus side, Amazon.com sold out of the SPAMALOT CDs. They ordered more.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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CATSNYrevival
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#2
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:30pm
I bought all the new Broadway CDs this year and was just having trouble trying to figure out what to buy next... alter boyz it is... re: Troubling CD sales figures
Cages or Wings
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#3
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:39pm
I've bought every cast recording of the season other than Altar Boyz , which is only due to the fact that it is difficult to find.
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Sumofallthings
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#4
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:41pm
I bought recently (recently being the past month):

Spamalot
Marie Christine
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The Light in the Piazza

So I'm doing my part and NEVER burn Cast Recordings. We have to few being sold to afford that.
BSoBW2: I punched Sondheim in the face after I saw Wicked and said, "Why couldn't you write like that!?"
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frontrowcentre2
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#5
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:42pm
CAPN HOOK - why were you so unhappy with the DRS cd? I found it more enjoyable than many of the recent Broadway blockbusters. The bonus track of "Nothing is too wonderful..." was worth the price.

Anyhow thank you for encouraging people NOT to copy!

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

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re: Troubling CD sales figures#6
Posted: 6/16/05 at 11:57pm
Sad thing is we eac need to but 10 copies of each cast album just to make the kind of sales figures needed.

In an article in the New York Times on Cast recordings it was estimated that to break even a cast album needs to sell 200,000 copies. At this rate it will take a long long time for these recordings to break even.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

new_philosophy
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#7
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:00am
I have everything except Altar Boyz, and spelling bee.
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hyperchet
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#8
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:10am
recently bought...

thoroughly modern millie
spamalot
little women
the producers
the light in the piazza
dirty rotten scoundrels

and i never download illegally. it's poopy!
"Needless to say the crew is well acquainted with my ass and that's ok because they are the coolest guys ever." - Idina Menzel
Cages or Wings
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#9
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:13am
frontrowcenter. That is true that it will take a long time to get to that break even point, but producers and such know that. The philosophy is that if the show runs for a long time (whether on broadway, on tour, or in other countries) people will be buying the CD at the show. Thus slowly but steadily helping the producers break even on the recording. (this according to Kurt Deutsch of Sh-k-Boom on an XM radio interview about the DRS cast recording and the cast recording business in general)
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sidneybruhl
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#10
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:18am
I bought:

Little Women
Light in the Piazza
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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juice23
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#11
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:34am
i bought piazza, spamalot, and little women. I have a free DRS cd from the giveaway.

a lot of my bway cds are copied from the library... i just cant afford to buy all the cds i want!
My Music Classroom Giving Page: https://www.donorschoose.org/MrHMusicRoom
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ljay889
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#12
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:40am
I wonder how the new Charity recording will do.

Considering it has a big star on it, and her TV/Film fans will obviously want to hear her as Charity.
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#13
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:44am
Although I personally dislike Christina Appelgate(Sp?) (She's a good actress, but I'm not a fan of her singing and in general just find her annoying) I think the sweet charity recording will be one of the better selling recordings of the season. She is a name and names sell albums(*cough* MONTY PYTHON'S spamalot with HANK AZARIA, DAVID HYDE PIERCE, AND TIM CURRY *cough*).
Updated On: 6/17/05 at 12:44 AM
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#14
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:54am
If you buy from iTunes would that be considered when counting total units sold? I assume it would, but I don't know for sure.
Luckydave14
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#15
Posted: 6/17/05 at 1:20am
From this seasons shows i bought:

Spamalot
Little Women
Spelling Bee
Light in the Piazza
and I got the free DRS giveaway
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feinstein9
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#16
Posted: 6/17/05 at 2:15am
intresting topic, i say. i couldn't remember the last cast recording i bought, so i went to my amazon history. turns out i haven't bought any cast recordings in 2005. i got DRS free, of course. why haven't i purchased? because there is always someone who can get it for me free. i bummed off my sister: Piazza, Spelling Bee, Pacific Overtures (revival), Hair (concert). the thing is, there haven't been shows that i've felt compelled to spend 15 bucks on. actually, i haven't bought a CD legitimetly in quite a few years. i buy copy and resell, or download. is it wrong? yeah. maybe i shouldn't do it. but i get music however i can get it, as fast as i can get it. sometimes that means stealing. but useally it means the shows are interesting enough to pay for (except piazza and spelling bee, which i would have purchesed if they hadn't have been given to me).
does that shed any light at all on the issue?
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#17
Posted: 6/17/05 at 2:57am
I try and buy the new cast recordings whenever my wallet affords me.
Deet: Shira, I Love You!
FosseBoi
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#18
Posted: 6/17/05 at 3:06am
Where did you find out about this? Is there a site where you can see how meny albums have been sold of a certin artists(Bway recordinfs and such)?
"I've always secretly longed for an actress to get to the top of the cherry picker and projectile vomit all over the guards below."- Wonderwaiter in the "Defy Gravity?" thread. ~~~~~~~~My dream? Sutton Foster as Cassie in A Chorus Line
RentBoy86
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#19
Posted: 6/17/05 at 3:18am
I hate burning, unless its impossible to find a recording (i.e. Bare), because I would just like to have the Original copy and all the lyrics and photos and stuff. I have bought:
Spamalot: Didn't really like it. It was okay. Sara Ramirez is
the saving grace of that recording.
DRS: Kind of dissapointed. Didn't care for "Great Big Stuff"
(I didn think it was that funny - even seeing the tony
performance) and I loved The Full Monty, but there are a
couple good songs.
Light in the Piazza: Loved it. A lot more than I thought i
would.
All Shook Up: Like most of it. Its growing.
Bright Lights Big City: LOVE IT, Best recording I've bought
this year.
----> Still waiting to get money to get BEE, but not sure if i really want it. I'll probably get it though.
The thing with me is, as a musical theater performer, its hard for me to listen to a show with a leading lady or a lot of female solos (wicked excluded for some reason) because I like to picture myself playing the role. Or id like to listen to a song and picture myself using it as an audition song. Sorry for the long post!
jarred03
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#20
Posted: 6/17/05 at 3:29am
The reason why these sales are low is because most people, myself included, don't just waste money on albums they never heard a single song from whether it's a broadway show or musician so most people only buy recordings if they see the show. It ruins the fantasy and excitement of the show if you listen to the whole cast album before you see it. Anyways, when do shows ever sell tons of copies in one week. It takes shows a long time to rack up sales. Anyways, most of these shows music sucks unless you see it live on stage.
FosseBoi
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#21
Posted: 6/17/05 at 3:54am
Yeah, I'm waiting till I see BEE in July(23 days!!!!!!YEAH!) to deside if I want to get the CD or not. Broadways just not what it used to be. Its REALLY sad that ppl dont treat and respect Bway like they used to...
"I've always secretly longed for an actress to get to the top of the cherry picker and projectile vomit all over the guards below."- Wonderwaiter in the "Defy Gravity?" thread. ~~~~~~~~My dream? Sutton Foster as Cassie in A Chorus Line
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#22
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:39pm
I know it can take years for soem cast albums to reach profitability. As longs as they continue selling 5 and 10 thousand a week, SPAMALOT and PIAZZA seem on track for being succesful, but at 500 units a week ALTAR BOYZ probably not.

The sales figures were based on a posting to the Cast Album group from one of the members who got the figures from Soundscan.

The news isn't all bad: SPAMALOT has sold 60,000 units in just over 5 weeks of release. And WICKED is still selling well for Decca closing in on the 400,000 mark.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

Plum
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#23
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:48pm
The last recording I bought was the London Oklahoma!, but that was only a month ago.

Anyway, the sales of cast recordings shouldn't be judged on the scale of pop CDs nowadays. Classical music or jazz might be a better comparison.
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re: Troubling CD sales figures#24
Posted: 6/17/05 at 12:50pm
I buy cast recordings for every show I see, with the exception of chitty because it doesn't have one technically, the songs are cute but not much more, and it costs more money than the average cast recording because it is a transfer...If there was one with the Broadway original cast I would buy it in a second...

Older cast recordings I tend to get from the library and stick on my Ipod...and usually the only time I buy a new cast recording without seeing the show is when I know I won't be able to see it(if its closing or I'm really broke), but thats not too often...
So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.~Office Space