2019 – The Year In Buying Music [part 1]

make america rage again red ball cap

This year I actually did it. I managed to throttle back my spending on music to reasonably moderate levels. The “sales events” [out-of-town trips taking in record stores] were slim-to-none. Only some a pair of trips to Ohio saw us visiting the usual haunts there as well as a little new blood. In both cases, money spent on music was modest. Good! I’m still annoyed that there are still a handful records I need to finish off collections so that I can make a definitive CD of some rare material not yet in the digital domain. This is my primary interest and I have not really made any CDs for almost two years.

That was down to:

  • buying a new computer in 2018 – the first in a decade
  • said new computer having no disc burner since new computers lack this once common feature
  • existing software incompatibilities rendering almost all of the software I use to make/design/print CDs null and void
  • Having no more blank gold/archival/printable CD-R media on hand after buying a spindle of 100 at least four years ago
  • My disc printer having its heads fatally clogged because I was not using it [see above]
  • being poor
  • lacking free time to spend on a pleasant hobby when more pressing issues were looming

So it’s taken almost two years but in 2020, I have:

  • new DVD-RW drive
  • new disc burning software
  • new graphic design suite [goodbye Adobe!]
  • new disc printer [I have been remembering to use it weekly so hopefully no head clog]

But I still need co$tly MAM-A gold printable CD-R media. And phase one of the big personal project I have been working on almost all 2019 has been completed, but phase two will be ongoing, albeit using a fraction of the time that the first phase did. Other than that, I still have two 7″ singles that I need to buy online to “finish” a few CD projects I have been buying releases for over the last two decades. Primarily Slow Children and Fingerprintz. This year they will reach completion! If I can only buy the two 45s and some blank media. It’s not looking good so far. There are numerous trips scheduled this year, including the BIG one. Traveling to the UK to see the Human Seventeen concert in London. I’m still failing to save sufficiently for that one so we’ll see if we manage to buy any music there.

Meanwhile, how did things shake out last year, scanty as they were?

Buying Stats

Total titles purchased: 103 [↓56%]
Total expenditures: $636.22 [↓48%]
Average cost: $6.18/title [↑10%]

CD: 58
Vinyl: 33
– LP: 6
– 12″: 12
– 7″: 15
Cassette: 1
DVD: 2
– bundled: 2
Downloads: 10

Total costs and expenditures were down over 50% from last year, with average cost per unit 10% higher. This was down to the many purchases at merch tables and buying directly from the artist/label via crowdsourcing or web stores. These are full cost venues but least I can know that the artist will see maximum financial benefit in these cases. Though I’m cheap, I’m not heartless. Two big surprises were the larger influx of 7″ singles, though the 12″ purchases took a huge dive as my favorite analog single format became even more thin on the ground. The other big change was the doubling of DL totals from last year. This was down to either promo items [much obliged as Monk nods slightly and touches brim of Aztec Energy Cone®] or indie music available no other way.

Next: …Details, Lists

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to 2019 – The Year In Buying Music [part 1]

  1. negative1ne says:

    Hi Mr. Monk,
    Great breakdown on the numbers.
    Mine also show similar trends in lots of areas.
    Big Picture breakdown [changes from 2018-2019]
    Total 2018 : 103
    Items 2019 : 135 Items
    31% increase

    2018 avg item : $6.47/item
    2019 avg item : $4.59/item
    29% decrease
    2018 Discogs $516.75
    2019 Discogs $570.00
    10% increase

    2018 Ebay $116.70
    2019 Ebay $0.00
    100% decrease

    2018 Amazon $33.37
    2019 Amazon $50.00
    50% increase

    Total expenditures
    2018 $666.82
    2019 $620.00
    7% decrease

    Format Breakdown:
    All items : 135
    Vinyl 76.30%
    CD 20.74%
    Video 2.22%
    Cass 0.74%
    Note : Some numbers below are off from above
    due to some late year buying which isn’t included.
    Vinyl 2018 : 103
    Vinyl 2019 : 65
    37% decrease

    Format : Vinyl 7 inch
    2018 : 43
    2019 : 31
    28% decrease

    Format : Vinyl 10 inch
    2018 : 1
    2019 : 2
    100% increase

    Format : Vinyl 12 inch
    2018 : 40
    2019 : 1 LP , 18 12″
    52% decrease

    Format : Vinyl 12 inch promo
    2018 : 17
    2019 : 11
    35% decrease

    Format : Cassette
    2018 : (Cass, Single) 1
    2019 : 3 Cass album, 3 Cass single
    500% increase

    Format : Cd
    2018: (CD, Album) 12
    2019 : 1 CD/DVD, 7 CD
    33% decrease

    (CD, Maxi) 10
    2018 : 10
    2019 : 1 CD3 single, 23 CD Single
    140% increase

    2018 : (CD, Promo) 6
    2019 : 3 CD Single promo
    50% decrease

    2018 : 28
    2019 : 36
    29% increase

    Formats : video
    2018 : 3
    2019 : 1 CDV
    67% decrease
    Final thoughts :

    Spending was down slightly, but got more items.
    Unit price went down.

    Completely avoided EBAY for music, which was good.
    Discogs and Amazon slightly up.

    Didn’t include the 100’s of digital tracks.
    Slight decrease in 7 inch singles.
    Doubled 10 inch singles.
    A lot less 12 inch singles, and promos.

    1/3 less Vinyl purchases overall.

    A lot more cassette purchases.
    Decrease in CD’s, but purchased a lot more CD singles.
    Increase in CD single promos.

    Only bought one video format (CDV).



    • postpunkmonk says:

      negative1ne – I didn’t break down CDs into singles/albums but I did get a few CD5s, god love ’em! Nor did I separate 12″ EPs from 12″ singles since that’s ambiguous any way! Yow! So you got a CDV? I can still play [NTSC] ones, but have not bought any in decades. My PAL CDVs were bought just for the remixes [L42, I think] What was it that you got? The one cassette I bought irritated me. It was the Prince “Versace” tape that was $4K before the RSD tape reissue, so naturally, I bought it! But if I knew a CD would be available just months later, I would have given it a big pass! Just like that DEVO live 1981 album they issued on CD themselves the next year!

      I have not bought anything on eBay for EONS. Can’t say I miss it. I last bought there maybe 17 years ago? No Amazon purchases for years now. We don’t feed Satan. Almost everything bought in stores or directly from the artist one way or another. I would like to buy more on Discogs but there’s just no money for that.


      • negative1ne says:

        Mr. Monk,
        EBAY is a necessary evil, when certain rare items pop up for cheap, or
        you can’t find them anywhere else. I got the 2nd DJ mix release of the
        Frazier Chorus Nothing US 12″, which I didn’t know about until you
        mentioned it, or I saw I was missing it on discogs.

        Also, its a good place to get those SHM CD’s from Japan, and a few
        other items from time to time. I use the buy it now option, and it’s just
        another store usually, so i don’t have to play the bidding game.

        As far as videos, and formats go. I didn’t get too many this year.
        Most of the time, it might just be something on VHS, thats not
        available anywhere else. Or a CED of something, like the
        Duran Duran collection (which may or may not have a rare
        exclusive track or edit not found elsewhere).

        The CDV in question was a PAL one of Tears for Fears – Everybody wants
        to rule the world. I had the other 3 CDV’s from the album, so that almost
        finishes that series. I could look for the NTSC version at some point.
        We’ll see, then I need to also get the Sowing the Seeds, and Woman in
        Chains ones also (although I don’t care for either of those songs).

        I have an NTSC laserdisc player, but have already transferred all
        my laserdiscs and singles to video files. Nowadays, its more of
        a curiosity and collection only thing.



  2. I haven’t compiled any stats yet (and if I do, I’ll post here), but I already know that nearly all of my music spending was CD format, and almost exclusively based on stuff I saw on this very blog! The average price has of course gone up since my halcyon days scouring Park Ave CDs in Winter Park, FL on a weekly basis, building the foundations of my collection. These days, I both spend less and get more valuable (to me) stuff now thanks to the steady stream of super deluxe and/or reissues with loads of bonus tracks that have been the focus of my collection in recent years.

    My annual subscription to Apple Music I find well worth the $100/year (US) in terms of both researching tracks/albums I don’t already own and investigating new bands based on music I have expressed interest in. I still buy downloads if that’s the best way to obtain a “permanent” (TILL THE POLES FLIP, MAAAN) copy of something specific, but more often once I’ve found a new band I’m sure I like, I will order the CD/s, Due to storage issues, I don’t have very much vinyl up here in Canada, though I do buy some of particular interest from time to time.

    As longtime readers here may know, the bulk of my collection is actually stored in Florida, where I used to live, though I have a few hundred key CDs with me (as one must). This is another area where the streaming subscription has proven very valuable to me — I essentially have access to the music on any of my owned CDs regardless of where they are, so the separation anxiety has all but disappeared.

    One day — one day — I shall figure out a reasonably economical way to bring those Florida CDs/vinyl up here, but until then I can still listen to 90 percent of that music via streaming — and the artists get paid for me doing so (a pittance, perhaps, but more than they get when I listen to my old CDs). This may only apply to me, but music streaming via Apple Music has more than justified its modest cost, and I consider it a good companion to continuing to collect physical objects that spark joy.

    At a guess, I would estimate I bought between 20-30 CDs this year, mostly deluxe reissues, and very little if any vinyl. I’ve more or less given up (for many years now) collecting 12-inch singles in favour of awaiting any CD-based collections of same, or one of the Monk’s legendary and exhaustive audio testaments.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – The ONE thing that I have wanted that I have not purchased yet, but dearly desire, is the Heaven 17 BSOG. That’s the only “collector’s twinge” that I felt this year as I have actually aimed for buying much less. Most of the other things that I wanted were priced modestly, so I ordered them. Well, that H17 and the scant singles I need to fiinish certain collections and finally make REVO DLX RMs of my own! There are some stately collections going on a 20 year timeline now that just kill me.


      • negative1ne says:

        Mr. Monk,
        I too am waiting for the right price drop for the Heaven 17 boxset. Although I already have about 95% of it already. Still will be nice to support them with getting the rest of it.
        I did get the 2CD+DVD Midge Ure collection, and will get the Underworld – Drift boxset somewhere down the road, and much later, that Live New Order MIF boxset too.

        By the way, SHHHHHHHHH, there’s another boxset for Heaven 17 planned for all the later tracks and remixes. I will be credited on there, since they were missing a promo edit, and I supplied it for them. But you didn’t hear that from me. (Whistles)…..



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