Re: Meme transmission

Ton Maas (
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 23:08:09 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102802afe70855d989@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 23:08:09 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Meme transmission

> I've read that only 10% of musical recordings turn a profit,
>and I'd guess the success rates of books is similarly dismal.

In the case of musical recordings, these figures may be a bit misleading,
especially since the CD format offers labels the possiblity of producing
smaller volumes. Of a vinyl album at least a few thousand copies had to be
pressed to be commercially feasible, whereas with CD a few hundred can be a
feasible option. Therefore the number of titles has expanded greatly, much
more so than the number of copies made. Japan seems to be ahead of other
markets in this respect: local recording companies release a larger number
of titles, each in lower production volumes, that can be quickly reprinted
if necessary. The 10% of the recordings you are referring to may even
constitute, say, seventy or eighty percent of the total volume of copies
produced. For the same reason book publishers are desperately looking for
new ways of producing books to match the demand of their readers much more
closely than they can with traditional printing and binding techniques.
"Printing on demand" is a new key-phrase in that sector.

Ton Maas

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