The Good News – A new 20,000 sq. ft vinyl record pressing plant will open in Burlington, Ontario in a few days and it will be the second largest plant in North America. Precision Record Pressing Incorporated will be handling independent releases, including some from Isotope Music, and major releases from Universal and Sony Canada.
The Bad News – Music blogger Pitchfork has reported that some independent records stores in the states have had their accounts closed by WEA, Warner Music’s distributor, because they’ve had less than $10,000 in orders per year. If this continues smaller retailers in the states might have issues keeping albums from Warner and their subsidiaries in stock.
Drop by at your local record store and browse for exclusive releases and merchandise.
Now that Shomi has been made available to all Canadians I thought perhaps i’d give you my first impressions on this service.
I started using Shomi a few months back when I switched from Bell to Rogers and I currently get it for free with my cable package. But I don’t think if i’d pay $8.99 per month for the service.
Although I can access the service conveniently via by set top box and view content without it counting towards my download/upload limit, I still have issues with the service in regards to content.
Like the Canadian version of Netflix, Shomi has a limited catalogue of television series and film. And I happen to already own the vast majority of my favourite films on the service.
On the other hand Hollywood Suite is being offered to me at $5.95 per month and features quite a lot of films, including some on demand. And Crave TV has a significant amount of television series i’d be interested in at $4 per month, but the later would count towards my download/upload limit.
If Crave TV was offered via Roger’s set top box i’d go for it, in a heartbeat. But Crave TV is operated by Bell Media, Roger’s competition. And they’re only going to start offering the service to the rest of Canada on January 1st, 2016.
I’m hoping Shomi will expand their selection considerably to compete but I seriously doubt it will happen for some time because of licensing.
Netflix Canada have been plagued by licensing issues that have kept them from offering as many titles as their American counterparts and i’m guessing that both Shomi and Crave TV will be subjected to the same limitations.
I’m definitely going to keep checking Shomi for new content. But I suspect Crave TV will win me over by February because it has South Park, Little Britain, Monty Python and several music documentary series like Classic Albums and the INXS television mini-series.
It’s International Record Store Day and many independent retailers in Canada will be celebrating the event with sales and other promotions.
This is of course a great opportunity to find the vinyl you’ve always been looking for, or that rare CD that has yet to make it to iTunes. But you can also find memorabilia at some of these local stores like posters, hats, embroidered patches, etc. Or DVD/Blu-Rays featuring live concerts or music videos.
Redbox Canada has decided to stop renting movies on February 13th, 2015 and will be turning their boxes off on March 5th, 2015.
“We were excited to bring our service here, but unfortunately, demand just didn’t meet our expectations. We will be focusing our attention on our U.S. business, where demand for physical media remains strong.”
Apparently most Canadian consumers have moved on to online movie renting from companies like iTunes, Cineplex or Cinemanow and I suspect more services like Amazon Instant Video will make their way into Canada shortly as streaming devices get cheaper.
Google’s Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player was recently promoted with $20 gift cards for Google Play and both Rogers/Shaw and Bell are now offering alternatives to Netflix to their subscribers with Showmi and CraveTV so the online movie rental market is heating up.
Unfortunately I liked picking up Blu-Rays at my local store at $2 a pop. And although discounts can be had on Tuesdays on Cineplex, I suspect I will be paying more for rentals again.
$4.99 appears to be the average price for standard definition rentals but i’m hoping more discounts will come our way, especially on the high definition rentals ; Those can be as expensive as $7.99 on some services.
I seriously doubt I will be renting high definition films at $7.99, especially older releases that I can view on my Hollywood Suite package on cable. And chances are I will simply wait to purchase individual blu-rays when they are discounted at Amazon.