Have you ever wondered why real estate agents cannot work part time, Only full time? It’s to prevent any part-timers from watering down the market and, more importantly, to maintain a professional service in a very important industry. The agents who commit their careers to it should be able to earn a decent living.
Unlike the realtors, many of us in the music industry put our whole lives into our art and/or our business, while some merely dabble in it. Having part-timers in our industry is the only way some of us could ever get our start; however, when non-professionals begin to remove professionalism and profit margins from the industry, everybody suffers.
Case in point: CD-R replication. We all know that the cost of these babies has dropped like a rock in the last year and it was only a matter of time, so it’s no surprise. Actually it’s good because for those willing to invest in the necessary duplication equipment, short-run CD-Rs opens up a new market. But what if some guy in his basement with one CD-R recorder and a PC starts giving away this service to all his friends for only the cost of the discs? How soon would more friends find out and, before you know it, profit margins for the serious players go right out the window? How is anybody supposed to make any money in this business when idiots like this trash any chance of profit? Profit is what buys new gear and more CDs, and rents gear and everything else that keeps this business afloat. Without profit, no value-added business can really take place.
So if all you want to do is water things down, volunteer at your local fire department; but if you want to get into this business, please be prepared to bring something valuable into it so that we all can stay in business long enough to enjoy what you have to offer.
Bud Bremner — owner and operater of Coastal Mastering in Vancouver, B.C.