Advert: the Live To Air is happening.
It’s been a ride. Since 1998 sevcom has sold CDs online. We were one of the first – a raggedy thing run on slave labour and Stephen M Jones’ idealism. If ever Stephen or myself were to look at the numbers it would have been shut down years ago. But we did it anyway.
13 years later I’m beaten. Done in. Worn out.
We started when blank CDs reached 11 AUD dollars each. A sale of 12 USD meant we made around 2 dollars after postage. That margin grew and I was able to buy a few more burners and try out some fun stuff like transparent film and metal cases. It paid a bit better than a gig but thank God for my day job. Sometimes I pretended I wasn’t subsidising it. Those damn metal cases…
While CDs got cheaper the postage, paper and ink have steadily increased. In recent years a blank disc was around 50c, but the postage on each disc ended up about $5-6. That was OK while the exchange rate was about 60c US for 1 AUD but as the US started to slip into oblivion people bought less and expected to pay a lot less for it. Europe too has little time for music while staving off economic collapse. The final straw was Homeland Security charging 9 dollars to inspect packages. (USA: Plenty of money for weapons, no money for wages.)
And I don’t have the time any more to make these things. The time it takes to make a batch of discs is not viable as my treadmill of bills and debts get faster.
The number of online stores is cancerous and they are locked in a price war that we cannot beat. So we join. BandCamp is alright; it’s not independence, but that was lost a long time ago. Just join the rest. Move along citizen.
I like CDs. Uncompressed sound and a pretty cover. But we are becoming too poor to own real things. I say again – the 20th century was about creating cheap mass produced goods for all. The theme of the 21st century will be the divide between the physical rich and the virtual poor – bespoke items for the wealthy (vinyl in boxes!) MP3s and ePub books for you. A window for them and a screen saver for you. We fought it, but the law won.
If you want any physical items from me, you had best do it soon. I am not making any more and have a small inventory.
I’d like to thank all the people that put up with my lousy service, slow delivery, bent metal boxes, CAT HAIRS!!!1!! and packages that went missing. We were never Amazon.
Oh and ‘Jesus’ – the guy that ordered everything and then reversed the credit card as soon as they arrived, fuck you. A big fuck off also to all the MP3 blogs that uploaded my stuff. You talk like revolutionaries, but you are actually the traitors.