Jump to content

A general malaise


Recommended Posts

Listening, as I do, to the radio while taking a bath, I've come across complaints from various people who work creatively. We all know the situation with regards to photography, where established shooters have seen their income shrink in recent years, but the same applies to musicians and authors. The growth of streaming services has killed the income source that many musicians depended upon from the sales of records, then tapes and CDs, today they get next to nothing from  the companies hosting their work. Likewise authors selling digital books have seen their income slashed as the big boys have taken control.

 

What can be done, well you can still buy records, CDs and downloads of CDs, and attend live concerts, you don't have to stream. While books can still be bought as hard copy or digitally direct from the writers. 

 

Most of my friends pay monthly for a free delivery account with you know who, but I refuse to do so. It's so easy to fall into the trap, I've had to rescue my wife from their clutches as a single incorrect key press drags you into their web, and she, like me, won't support their activity. 

 

How about you guys, are you playing into the hands of these international corporations who are killing the income stream of many creative people?

Edited by Bryan
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do manage to avoid the traps set by Amazon most of the time, in fact make great efforts to seek out alternative sources. You won't find smiley boxes stacked by our front door! I seem to have Radio 4 on most of the time though have to switch it off occasionally when Nick Robinson is getting too much of a bully interviewing. My wife's an artist and seems to mostly command decent fees but does support a few charity drives.

Edited by Robert M Estall
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

In my long life, I've been involved in all the creative arts -- a writer, a photographer, a painter, a musician, and an actor. I would not have the slightest idea of how to pursue any of those things today. 

  • Love 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ceased buying from Amazon some time ago due to their tricky habits. Did get drawn in once but cancelled immediately.

 

Tend to buy from shops locally and do not mind paying a bit more. At least you can see what you are getting and if not happy go elsewhere.

 

Buy S/H books from charity shops (Oxfam bookshop mostly). Even bought vinyl records from them.

 

Buying paintings/pictures nah! Do my own.

 

Allan

 

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yay. Well said, Bryan. We may be swamped by the tsunami in the end, but we should at least stand tall in the face of it. I spend many hours trying to buy the goods I need from real bricks and mortar shops but too often I find it all but impossible nowadays. However, I refuse to use the mighty A******* except in utter extremis.  I did some Christmas shopping in the centre of Bolton yesterday. Our one remaining department store is M&S and our one bookshop is Waterstones. The former is dogged by persistent rumours of imminent closure and the latter is due to downsize. On the other side my daily commute is littered dodging round delivery vans or having white van man coming up at speed to ride on my bumper in the rush to get to the next drop. Convenience comes at a price.

Edited by Joseph Clemson
Grammar
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The big online book retailers also helped put some small presses and at least one small press distributor out of business by relying on having titles for sale for a 60 or 90 days, then returning them (covers only in the case of paperback).   Most real bookstores didn't do returns for six months to a year, so the publisher had the float until the returns came back until as they got paid for the book before having to do refunds for returns.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being totally out of it, I don't subscribe to any streaming services. In fact, I'm not even sure what they are. Also, I'm still basically a "bricks and mortar" shopper and buy stuff online only if I can't find it locally. I've never bought an e-book, mainly because I don't like doing extensive reading on a screen, plus I prefer the "feel" of paper books. Public libraries here continue to have well-stocked CD and DVD collections, which I sometimes take advantage of. Most new movies and music tend not to interest me much, a symptom of getting old and boring no doubt. I even pick up my own pizzas at the ristorante rather than have them delivered. 🍕

  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well if my daughter is any indication of the future (she lives with me now), she orders EVERYTHING online, even groceries.  But being a night nurse, she has very little time during most days, to do any shopping.  She can afford it but it does add a lot to the costs with delivery fees and tips (when applicable).  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With gas prices fluctuating between $5 and $6 a gallon here in Southern California, if we only need 1 or 2 items it works out cheeper to buy them online and get them delivered. We hardly ever pay for delivery .

 

 

Shergar 

Edited by Shergar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've purchased through Amazon lately only because I can't find what I want locally (blackout drapes for the house). They do get you though, with the 30 day free Amazon Prime... I'll cancel Prime when I'm done. I never order groceries online, as several stores are within a couple of blocks and I could (should) walk there and back.😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Sharon said:

 I never order groceries online, as several stores are within a couple of blocks and I could (should) walk there and back.😁

 

sadly all food stores within walking&biking distance for me are owned by corporation not much better than Amazon and in addition non believe in providing basic protection for customers .  it was easier during summer with some decent farmers market easily accessible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can't escape the fact that the internet / online convenience for goods and services ect...is here to stay and it does have it's pluses...It's life as we know it presently..Here in Australia where i live i have seen the live music industry decline..listeners can stream live podcasts and stream music in general.Like Bryan has said that artists have lost revenues and with the proliferation of pokie venues here  in pubs where live music was once the norm, people go there to gamble their money away.

 

I enjoy listening to my CD's on my Hi Fi and recently  upgraded my CD player, now i could have bought one that does both streaming and play CD's but preferred the stand alone player...I must confess that i have a mini Bose Bluetooth speaker so can stream music and FM radio broadcasts from my iPhone, but when i listen seriously to music then i spin a disc.LOL

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure that having things delivered is such a problem. Years ago the local co-op grocery store would deliver if you picked the stuff yourself. My wife used to take one of our kids to nursery school on her bike and then head to the co-op to buy food. It then cost the equivalent of 20 p to have it delivered. By the time she had cycled home there would be a box of groceries on the front step. We now  live just over  a couple of miles from the nearest large supermarket and often cycle there, or walk and take the bus back, but they won't deliver unless you also pay for them to pick the goods. This means that we have to use the car if there is a heavy load to carry. During Covid lockdown we did use their pick and delivery service a couple of times, but not since.

 

I'm thinking that this is quite a different issue to that of streaming music or audio books where there appears to be a monopoly developing and the artists who produce the work are being increasingly  exploited by the all powerful vendor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in the 90s Amazon just sold books at US prices. It was only just in profit at this time as it just sold books.

 

I used to buy all my Computer Software Technical books from Amazon as the official GBP price was only slightly less than the USD price (the price printed on the back cover), and at the time £1 = $1.80 (gone forever now).

 

We were being ripped off by the UK book publishers / distributors and their High Street sellers. Treasure Island 🏝️ 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Sharon said:

 

They do get you though, with the 30 day free Amazon Prime...

😁

 

I've been inadvertently caught by Prime three times. Now I read every word on the payment pages very, very carefully before I click on anything.

 

As for streaming, as a music aficionado my life would be immeasurably poorer without Spotify. It allows me to discover all kinds of things and different genres that I would never otherwise have an opportunity to explore. If I hear something that I would like to listen to on a regular basis I'll buy a CD or a download.

 

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aren't we all just as 'guilty' through our impacts as Alamy contributors on specialist stock agencies ( now virtually all out of business) and professional photographers ( who used to be able to make a good living from stock)?

Edited by geogphotos
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to be the fly in the anti-Amazon ointment, I feel I should point out that depending on how you measure it, upwards of 50% and maybe even as much as 75% of the Internet runs on, or depends on Amazon Web Services and Amazon servers. So you're still contributing to their coffers simply by being on this forum. Sorry about that.

  • Love 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Digital is here to stay. A fact I’ve resisted, but have been forced to accept.
My whole adult life, I’ve subscribed to a newspaper. And I bought books, to hold in my hands and read. The book prices kept rising enough that I couldn’t afford to satisfy my voracious reading habits. When I quit buying paperbacks, they were costing me $8-9 each, and I read about 8 of them a month. I could do that when my husband was alive and employed. I’m on a fixed income as many of you are, now.  I tried used books, but most of what was there were titles I’d already read. Finding one I hadn’t read in my genre by a decent author took an hour or so.
I found Bookbub, and most of the downloads I get are free books offered for a few days before going to regular price. This is a way for authors to introduce one to their work. I have read a book, then paid for the next and next from that author. Even paying, I can buy 3 books for what I used to pay for one. My reading costs have gone down from $80 a month to about $8-10.

Newspaper? I just canceled my subscription. It was renewal time and because the newspapers have lost advertising money, they’ve priced me out. The newspapers I’ve been getting the last 5-10 years in 2 different states has been increasingly slimmed down. Less product for more money.  When I called and talked to a representative, I was told it would cost me well over $500 for a year’s subscription for a fairly crappy product. I will sorely miss holding a newspaper in my hands each morning while drinking my coffee.

I do subscribe to my home state’s digital subscription and have since moving to Kansas.

Another bad side to this, now I’ll need to buy cage liners for my parrot’s cage. 😂

CDs, ahhh. I used to buy a CD for one song I loved, and the rest of the songs were mostly crap not to my taste. If I managed 2 songs I loved on the CD I felt fortunate. Sometimes I struck it lucky when I bought a CD and loved most of them. Thank you, Willy Nelson.

As for shopping, so many times I physically go to a store for something and they don’t carry it. So yes, I buy from Amazon. The more people buy online, the more stores reduce their inventory and the less we can find what we want when we physically shop.

Then there are the people who’s health prevent them from going out and about, like me for a long time. I can now, and usually try to find a product through physical shopping before resorting to online. Less & less often, I find what I’m after.

I need a radio. I’ll head out looking in the next week or two. Hopefully I’ll find what I want, but I don’t feel as hopeful as I used to. Choices have become increasingly slim, and cause and effect is definitely in play.

Betty

  • Love 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get books from the library and nowadays I can get an e-book for a lot of titles. Very easy and convenient. One thing in favor of Amazon is that a lot of small businesses sell on Amazon. Like Betty, I like to buy in person but stores often are not as well stocked as they used to be.

 

Paulette

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Well if my daughter is any indication of the future (she lives with me now), she orders EVERYTHING online, even groceries.  But being a night nurse, she has very little time during most days, to do any shopping.  She can afford it but it does add a lot to the costs with delivery fees and tips (when applicable).  

 

 

 

The pandemic got me doing more stuff online. However, I realize that I'm a bit of a dinosaur. There's a whole generation that does almost everything online. Just about the only thing that they still can't do virtually is procreate, and even that might be possible soon (perhaps it already is). 😱

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Aren't we all just as 'guilty' through our impacts as Alamy contributors on specialist stock agencies ( now virtually all out of business) and professional photographers ( who used to be able to make a good living from stock)?

 

That's a good point. For many years, I worked with small agency that specialized in Latin America. When digital took over and sales with them began to decline, I started submitting (in 2007) my images to Alamy, where they immediately licensed. The smaller agency eventually went belly-up due to all the competition from the new big kids on the block.  Guilty as charged... 🙁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.