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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:14 pm 
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djmdavid wrote:
Thanks for providing the sales figures of FZ titles - I've been wondering about those for years. Is this the Soundscan data (which covers only brick-and-mortar stores) - or the data includes online sales too?


Yes, the data is courtesy of Soundscan. And it includes online sales.

djmdavid wrote:
A slight correction - $20m investment is related to '93 masters only (released by Ryko in 1995). Whatever has been released by Ryko prior to that was probably covered by a different agreement for additional money.


I see no reason why the pre-'94 deal between FZ and Ryko would be that much different from the post-'94 deal with the ZFT. I think they would've been similar.

djmdavid wrote:
I don't know the Ryko cost structure but I doubt they netted half of gross prices - more like 20-30%, at best.


Ok, my estimate of what Ryko's cut is, may be a bit high. But even if it is 20-30%, if you do the math, Ryko has recouped their investment.

djmdavid wrote:
There is production (and some CDs have fairly elaborate artwork - think "Yellow Shark" - which would probably increase the production costs further), promotion & distribution (and Ryko did a phenomenal job distributing the stuff - I remember in late '90s I saw a good selection of Ryko FZ CDs in most generic music stores all over the world), royalties to ZFT from CD sales, etc. They kept the whole catalog in print - even the most esoteric titles (think "Franceso Zappa") - add inventory & stocking costs. They had to buy the rights to "200 Motels" from MGM - no way they ever made any money on this. As you mention, they had to use leverage (debt) in order to buy the FZ catalog - add the interest costs here too.


I've already considered that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:02 pm 
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disco boy wrote:
...on average, over 235,000 copies annually ... FZ's US album sales are 25-35% of his worldwide album sales...


...my estimate of what Ryko's cut is, may be a bit high. But even if it is 20-30%, if you do the math, Ryko has recouped their investment
db, thanks for the info, which is not necessarily knowledge;

235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 35% worldwide * 20% ryko cut = $34,242,857.14
235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 25% worldwide * 30% ryko cut = $71,910,000.00

235,000 cds per year seems very high, that's an average of 2,600 each per year in the u.s. alone for all 91 titles

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:55 am 
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slime.oofytv.set wrote:
disco boy wrote:
...on average, over 235,000 copies annually ... FZ's US album sales are 25-35% of his worldwide album sales...


...my estimate of what Ryko's cut is, may be a bit high. But even if it is 20-30%, if you do the math, Ryko has recouped their investment
db, thanks for the info, which is not necessarily knowledge;

235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 35% worldwide * 20% ryko cut = $34,242,857.14
235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 25% worldwide * 30% ryko cut = $71,910,000.00

235,000 cds per year seems very high, that's an average of 2,600 each per year in the u.s. alone for all 91 titles


The "'93 masters" CDs appeared in '95, not in '94. Also, the average of 235K albums / year is based on sales of up to 2005. I would assume the sales figures have been falling exponentially since the late 90s - there is no way they are selling anything close to 235K titles per year in the last few years. I could probably dig some sample CD sales data to build a simple model, but it is very predictable: high sales first couple of years then rapid annual decline with eventual long tale with a few minor spikes (caused by promotional activities, for example). Keep in mind that in the last few years Ryko has also cut the prices dramatically (you could get CD for less than $10, and double for less than $15). We obviously don't have all the data, but I just don't see Ryko making a reasonable return on investment here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:14 am 
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djmdavid wrote:
slime.oofytv.set wrote:
disco boy wrote:
...on average, over 235,000 copies annually ... FZ's US album sales are 25-35% of his worldwide album sales...


...my estimate of what Ryko's cut is, may be a bit high. But even if it is 20-30%, if you do the math, Ryko has recouped their investment
db, thanks for the info, which is not necessarily knowledge;

235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 35% worldwide * 20% ryko cut = $34,242,857.14
235k u.s. albums x $15 * 17 yrs since '94 @ 25% worldwide * 30% ryko cut = $71,910,000.00

235,000 cds per year seems very high, that's an average of 2,600 each per year in the u.s. alone for all 91 titles


The "'93 masters" CDs appeared in '95, not in '94. Also, the average of 235K albums / year is based on sales of up to 2005. I would assume the sales figures have been falling exponentially since the late 90s - there is no way they are selling anything close to 235K titles per year in the last few years. I could probably dig some sample CD sales data to build a simple model, but it is very predictable: high sales first couple of years then rapid annual decline with eventual long tale with a few minor spikes (caused by promotional activities, for example). Keep in mind that in the last few years Ryko has also cut the prices dramatically (you could get CD for less than $10, and double for less than $15). We obviously don't have all the data, but I just don't see Ryko making a reasonable return on investment here.


I agree that the annual US average of 235,000 copies sold from 1991-2005 would not be the same as the average today, considering the downloading era, which has decreased sales for most artists over the past five years by roughly 40-50%. And while there are some FZ titles that are cheaper than $15, the majority, especially in the past several months, are now even more than $15 per title. So I don't see any reason to doubt $15 as a sustainable average CD price. And again, if you do the math, unless Ryko really only get a 20% cut, only then would they not have recouped their investment. But I think once Ryko crunched the numbers before putting the deal together with the ZFT in '94, that they figured if they wouldn't be recouping their investment for 20+ years, they simply wouldn't have set up the deal the way they did - it's just not financially logical.


Also, a dozen of the nearly 100 Zappa/Mothers titles sold nearly half of the overall total copies sold in the US from 1991-2005. I've posted these stats a few times, but I'll do it again...

As of December 2005, here are the Zappa/Mothers US Soundscan-era best-sellers (rounded to the nearest thousandth):

260,000 ~ Strictly Commercial
180,000 ~ Sheik Yerbouti
150,000 ~ Apostrophe (’)
146,000 ~ Cheap Thrills
144,000 ~ Joe's Garage Acts I, II & III
131,000 ~ Over-Nite Sensation
109,000 ~ Hot Rats
98,000 ~ Apostrophe (’) / Over-Nite Sensation
95,000 ~ Freak Out!
82,000 ~ We're Only In It For The Money
70,000 ~ One Size Fits All
56,000 ~ Absolutely Free

US Soundscan-era total, as of December 2005:

3,527,000

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:14 am 
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Well, at the risk of making some boring self-evident points... :)

Disco Boy wrote:
I agree that the annual US average of 235,000 copies sold from 1991-2005 would not be the same as the average today, considering the downloading era, which has decreased sales for most artists over the past five years by roughly 40-50%. And while there are some FZ titles that are cheaper than $15, the majority, especially in the past several months, are now even more than $15 per title. So I don't see any reason to doubt $15 as a sustainable average CD price.
FZ sales in the last few years (even before disappearance of the Ryko CDs) are probably less than 15% of the late-90s peak. It's not just about the demise of the CD market overall - it's that most of the "old" fans already bought everything they needed, and there are just not enough new FZ fans entering the marketplace.

The prices on FZ CDs have been low for years, perhaps since mid-'00s (I bought many of my FZ CDs then, I remember it well). I even recall Gail complaining about it. The prices "in the last several months" (I am not sure what prices you refer to here - Ryko CDs seem to be available nearly exclusively in the secondary market only) don't make any material change here.

Disco Boy wrote:
Also, a dozen of the nearly 100 Zappa/Mothers titles sold nearly half of the overall total copies sold in the US from 1991-2005.
This only goes to show that there would have been high cost of keeping the whole catalog in print when only a few items really sell.

Disco Boy wrote:
But I think once Ryko crunched the numbers before putting the deal together with the ZFT in '94, that they figured if they wouldn't be recouping their investment for 20+ years, they simply wouldn't have set up the deal the way they did - it's just not financially logical.
Well, in the real world large percentage of all investment (in any area) does not work out exactly as expected, even with the most elaborate preliminary calculations.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:02 pm 
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djmdavid wrote:
The prices on FZ CDs have been low for years, perhaps since mid-'00s (I bought many of my FZ CDs then, I remember it well). I even recall Gail complaining about it. The prices "in the last several months" (I am not sure what prices you refer to here - Ryko CDs seem to be available nearly exclusively in the secondary market only) don't make any material change here.


But that's not really true. Yes, they were lower in the mid-'00s than in previous years but that only works out to be 5 or 6 years. And IMO at least, 5 or 6 years isn't a very lengthy time period considering Ryko has been selling FZ product for over 25 years. In the past several months, FZ titles have been priced higher than they have in "years", even at similar prices that used to be charged "years" ago. Don't believe me? Then check out Barfko Swill, Amazon, etc.

djmdavid wrote:
This only goes to show that there would have been high cost of keeping the whole catalog in print when only a few items really sell.


Not necessarily.

djmdavid wrote:
Well, in the real world large percentage of all investment (in any area) does not work out exactly as expected, even with the most elaborate preliminary calculations.


But I think you get my point, which is, at that point in time, Ryko had been in business successfully for 12 years and with FZ for nearly 10 years. So they knew how much $$$ they were basically going to make based on FZ's annual album sales and hence weren't about to throw their capital away. And from what we know, I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money. However, today just about everyone in the music business is losing $$$ on their album sales but for completely different reasons...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:56 pm 
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disco boy wrote:
...I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money...
fair enough, so there's good reason for ryko to continue flogging the product

why mothermania is still available as a download, with previously released 'competing' tracks, some with no differences ¿

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:39 am 
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OK, I guess it's a futile exercise, but I will make my last remarks on this :) .

Disco Boy wrote:
djmdavid wrote:
The prices on FZ CDs have been low for years, perhaps since mid-'00s (I bought many of my FZ CDs then, I remember it well). I even recall Gail complaining about it. The prices "in the last several months" (I am not sure what prices you refer to here - Ryko CDs seem to be available nearly exclusively in the secondary market only) don't make any material change here.


But that's not really true. Yes, they were lower in the mid-'00s than in previous years but that only works out to be 5 or 6 years. And IMO at least, 5 or 6 years isn't a very lengthy time period considering Ryko has been selling FZ product for over 25 years.

You keep bringing up this 25 year period. We are talking about '95 issues for which Ryko paid ZFT $20M. between '95 and now it is 16 years, not 25. And 5 or 6 years (actually more like 8-10 years, Ryko staff was selling at full prices only in late-90s) - is a bulk of this period.

Disco Boy wrote:
In the past several months, FZ titles have been priced higher than they have in "years", even at similar prices that used to be charged "years" ago. Don't believe me? Then check out Barfko Swill, Amazon, etc.
A few months of NO SALES mathematically can not change the picture. I am still not sure what prices you use as a reference. Amazon has most of the FZ CDs listed as OOP, you can buy them from the market sellers (i.e. secondary market) only. Prices in the secondary market are irrelevant for Ryko. If you need an illustration - if I buy a CD from you for $100 the label that issued it gets nothing. Neither does the artist.
Regarding Barfko: my guess is that barfko swill contributed less than 0.1% to total Ryko FZ CD sales. Even if they sold the CDs at $100 / piece this would not make any difference in the overall picture for Ryko.

Disco Boy wrote:
djmdavid wrote:
This only goes to show that there would have been high cost of keeping the whole catalog in print when only a few items really sell.

Not necessarily.
There is a textbook definition of inventory storage costs and you might want to check it out. You might also want to use common sense: if you print a lot of CDs and they don't sell fast, keeping and handling them in your warehouse costs money.

Disco Boy wrote:
djmdavid wrote:
Well, in the real world large percentage of all investment (in any area) does not work out exactly as expected, even with the most elaborate preliminary calculations.

But I think you get my point, which is, at that point in time, Ryko had been in business successfully for 12 years and with FZ for nearly 10 years. So they knew how much $$$ they were basically going to make based on FZ's annual album sales and hence weren't about to throw their capital away. And from what we know, I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money. However, today just about everyone in the music business is losing $$$ on their album sales but for completely different reasons...
No, I don't get your point. People and companies make bad investment / financial decisions every day. A few days ago Kodak (been in the business for 125 years) declared its bankruptcy. This is just the part of the business environment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:48 pm 
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djmdavid wrote:
People and companies make bad investment / financial decisions every day.


this has nothing to do with the conversation, but when i see a comment like this i always think of the borders books mid 90's decision to not pursue online sales and outsource them to a little known online bookstore called amazon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:09 pm 
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slime.oofytv.set wrote:
why mothermania is still available as a download, with previously released 'competing' tracks, some with no differences ¿


I doubt there's large enough demand for this title for a physical format release. That's probably why.

djmdavid wrote:
You keep bringing up this 25 year period. We are talking about '95 issues for which Ryko paid ZFT $20M. between '95 and now it is 16 years, not 25. And 5 or 6 years (actually more like 8-10 years, Ryko staff was selling at full prices only in late-90s) - is a bulk of this period.


We're actually talking about a few related things. So, I'm just putting things in perspective.

FZ titles weren't priced below a basic average of $15 8-10 years ago. I should know, because when I became a fan in 1998 and starting buying these titles, it took me at least 5-7 years to complete the collection (or nearly complete it). Again, 5 or 6 years isn't a very long period of time, considering.

djmdavid wrote:
A few months of NO SALES mathematically can not change the picture. I am still not sure what prices you use as a reference. Amazon has most of the FZ CDs listed as OOP, you can buy them from the market sellers (i.e. secondary market) only. Prices in the secondary market are irrelevant for Ryko. If you need an illustration - if I buy a CD from you for $100 the label that issued it gets nothing. Neither does the artist.


It's not a "few" months, it's been several months now. So, out of the 27 years Ryko have been selling FZ product, it's more than safe to say that $15 per title is a good average to refer to, despite that average being slightly less than $15 for 5 or 6 years.

And Amazon's Marketplace sellers sell new CDs, you know? So, unless you're referring to used CDs, what you're saying can't be true. Also, there's several other sites selling FZ titles new at similar prices.

djmdavid wrote:
Regarding Barfko: my guess is that barfko swill contributed less than 0.1% to total Ryko FZ CD sales. Even if they sold the CDs at $100 / piece this would not make any difference in the overall picture for Ryko.


I think your "guess" is way off.

djmdavid wrote:
There is a textbook definition of inventory storage costs and you might want to check it out. You might also want to use common sense: if you print a lot of CDs and they don't sell fast, keeping and handling them in your warehouse costs money.


Common sense? Common sense would dictate that Ryko wouldn't spend $44 million then sign a deal with the ZFT in 1994, only to lose $$$, despite the fact they basically knew how much money they'd be making from FZ's catalogue, based on his album sales from 1986-1994 (and that annual average would've been similar to his annual average from 1991-2005).

djmdavid wrote:
No, I don't get your point. People and companies make bad investment / financial decisions every day. A few days ago Kodak (been in the business for 125 years) declared its bankruptcy. This is just the part of the business environment.


You don't? Well, I'll go over it AGAIN for you:

At that point in time, Ryko had been in business successfully for 12 years and with FZ for nearly 10 years. So they knew how much $$$ they were basically going to make based on FZ's annual album sales and hence weren't about to throw their capital away. And from what we know, I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money. However, today just about everyone in the music business is losing $$$ on their album sales but for completely different reasons...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:45 pm 
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disco boy wrote:
... Ryko wouldn't spend $44 million then sign a deal with the ZFT in 1994...



...I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money...
wasn't it $20 mil ¿




modelling diminishing sales starting in 1995 as a stepped-line regression & approximating losses of:
7,500 units per year [pre-1994]
10,000/yr for the first 4 yrs
12,500/yr for the next 6 yrs
15,000/yr for the last 10 yrs


using the usa 1991-2005 average of 235,033 per year; 3,525,500 total units


1991 . . . . . 300,200 units
1992 . . . . . 292,700
1993 . . . . . 285,200
1994 . . . . . 277,700
1995 . . . . . 270,200
1996 . . . . . 260,200
1997 . . . . . 250,200
1998 . . . . . 240,200
1999 . . . . . 230,200
2000 . . . . . 217,700
2001 . . . . . 205,200
2002 . . . . . 192,700
2003 . . . . . 180,200
2004 . . . . . 167,700
2005 . . . . . 155,200
2006 . . . . . 140,200
2007 . . . . . 125,200
2008 . . . . . 110,200
2009 . . . . .. 95,200
2010 . . . . .. 80,200
2011 . . . . .. 65,200
2012 . . . . .. 50,200
2013 . . . . .. 35,200
2014 . . . . .. 20,200
2015 . . . . . . 5,200


= 3,096,700 units after 20 years @ $15 each, 20% ryko cut, 30% usa vs. world
= $30,967,000 into ryko's heavenly bank account


say ryko paid half the $20 million in cash, borrowed $10 mil at the mid-'94 prime rate [unlikely] of 7.75% per annum
= another $9,702,764.57 to your favorite lending institution


ryko will net approx. $1.2 million in 2015 after 20 years

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:46 am 
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slime.oofytv.set wrote:
disco boy wrote:
... Ryko wouldn't spend $44 million then sign a deal with the ZFT in 1994...



...I don't see any strong evidence showing that Ryko lost money...
wasn't it $20 mil ¿


The $20 million Ryko apparently paid the ZFT in '94 was more than likely part of their $44 million "corporate restructuring."


slime.oofytv.set wrote:
modelling diminishing sales starting in 1995 as a stepped-line regression & approximating losses of:
7,500 units per year [pre-1994]
10,000/yr for the first 4 yrs
12,500/yr for the next 6 yrs
15,000/yr for the last 10 yrs


using the usa 1991-2005 average of 235,033 per year; 3,525,500 total units

1991 . . . . . 300,200 units
1992 . . . . . 292,700
1993 . . . . . 285,200
1994 . . . . . 277,700
1995 . . . . . 270,200
1996 . . . . . 260,200
1997 . . . . . 250,200
1998 . . . . . 240,200
1999 . . . . . 230,200
2000 . . . . . 217,700
2001 . . . . . 205,200
2002 . . . . . 192,700
2003 . . . . . 180,200
2004 . . . . . 167,700
2005 . . . . . 155,200
2006 . . . . . 140,200
2007 . . . . . 125,200
2008 . . . . . 110,200
2009 . . . . .. 95,200
2010 . . . . .. 80,200
2011 . . . . .. 65,200
2012 . . . . .. 50,200
2013 . . . . .. 35,200
2014 . . . . .. 20,200
2015 . . . . . . 5,200


= 3,096,700 units after 20 years @ $15 each, 20% ryko cut, 30% usa vs. world
= $30,967,000 into ryko's heavenly bank account


say ryko paid half the $20 million in cash, borrowed $10 mil at the mid-'94 prime rate [unlikely] of 7.75% per annum
= another $9,702,764.57 to your favorite lending institution


ryko will net approx. $1.2 million in 2015 after 20 years


While I admire the work that went into the above, I don't think the FZ catalogue sales drop-off would've been that low that soon. In fact, I doubt a major drop-off even occurred until the '00s. Today, the annual average should more than likely be 40-50% of what the annual average was from 1991-2005...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:25 pm 
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disco boy wrote:
...I doubt a major drop-off even occurred until the '00s. Today, the annual average should more than likely be 40-50% of what the annual average was from 1991-2005...
revised sales estimate based on:

  • reduced drop-off
    • -1,000 units per year [pre-1995]
    • -2,500/yr -> 2000
    • -5,000/yr -> 2005
    • -12,500/yr -> 2008
    • -17,000/yr -> 2012
    • -25,000/yr -> 2015
  • adjusted annual averages
  • usa 1991-2005 average: 235,000 per year
  • 3,525,500 total units 1991-2005
  • 2012 units at ~45% of '91-'05 annual average [105,750]



1991 . . . . . 250,000 units
1992 . . . . . 249,000
1993 . . . . . 248,000
1994 . . . . . 247,000
1995 . . . . . 246,000
1996 . . . . . 243,500
1997 . . . . . 241,000
1998 . . . . . 238,500
1999 . . . . . 236,000
2000 . . . . . 233,500
2001 . . . . . 228,500
2002 . . . . . 223,500
2003 . . . . . 218,500
2004 . . . . . 213,500
2005 . . . . . 208,500
2006 . . . . . 198,500
2007 . . . . . 186,000
2008 . . . . . 173,500
2009 . . . . . 156,500
2010 . . . . . 139,500
2011 . . . . . 122,500
2012 . . . . . 105,500
2013 . . . . .. 88,500
2014 . . . . .. 63,500
2015 . . . . .. 38,500


= 4,797,500 units after 20 years @ $15 each, 20% ryko cut, 35% usa vs. world
= $41,121,429 into ryko's hba

$10 mil borrowed at 1.5 % over the nov-'94 8.5% prime rate
= another $13,160,518 as part of the ryko restructuring


ryko nets approx $7.9 million in 2015 after 20 years

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:22 am 
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slime.oofytv.set wrote:
disco boy wrote:
...I doubt a major drop-off even occurred until the '00s. Today, the annual average should more than likely be 40-50% of what the annual average was from 1991-2005...
revised sales estimate based on:

  • reduced drop-off
    • -1,000 units per year [pre-1995]
    • -2,500/yr -> 2000
    • -5,000/yr -> 2005
    • -12,500/yr -> 2008
    • -17,000/yr -> 2012
    • -25,000/yr -> 2015
  • adjusted annual averages
  • usa 1991-2005 average: 235,000 per year
  • 3,525,500 total units 1991-2005
  • 2012 units at ~45% of '91-'05 annual average [105,750]



1991 . . . . . 250,000 units
1992 . . . . . 249,000
1993 . . . . . 248,000
1994 . . . . . 247,000
1995 . . . . . 246,000
1996 . . . . . 243,500
1997 . . . . . 241,000
1998 . . . . . 238,500
1999 . . . . . 236,000
2000 . . . . . 233,500
2001 . . . . . 228,500
2002 . . . . . 223,500
2003 . . . . . 218,500
2004 . . . . . 213,500
2005 . . . . . 208,500
2006 . . . . . 198,500
2007 . . . . . 186,000
2008 . . . . . 173,500
2009 . . . . . 156,500
2010 . . . . . 139,500
2011 . . . . . 122,500
2012 . . . . . 105,500
2013 . . . . .. 88,500
2014 . . . . .. 63,500
2015 . . . . .. 38,500


= 4,797,500 units after 20 years @ $15 each, 20% ryko cut, 35% usa vs. world
= $41,121,429 into ryko's hba


Great work.

I think the drop-off looks about right. And if Ryko's cut is really only 20%, then that's probably close as well.

slime.oofytv.set wrote:
$10 mil borrowed at 1.5 % over the nov-'94 8.5% prime rate
= another $13,160,518 as part of the ryko restructuring


ryko nets approx $7.9 million in 2015 after 20 years


Though, I'm not sure about this...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:20 pm 
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disco boy wrote:
slime.oofytv.set wrote:
... $10 mil borrowed at 1.5 % over the nov-'94 8.5% prime rate ...

ryko nets approx $7.9 million in 2015 after 20 years [/color]


Though, I'm not sure about this...

yea, this is quite the wild speculation on the bank loan amount, terms & duration etc ... using an adjustable loan rate on $10 mil at 9% -> 4.25% over 20 years, the bank's whack is approx $4 mil less

ryko nets approx $12 million in 2015 after 20 years, not a bad roi

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 am 
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Good job in securing data and applying analytical procedures slime, and disco boy. Since it was a 20-year deal the net present value of the return on investment Ryko received is less than the actual monies shown here, but we assume they made a fair profit for each unit sold.

The purchase of the FZ catalogue, from a business standpoint, can be likened to acquisitions such as factory machinery where discounted cash flows (the cost of the machine reduced by its available depreciation charges, hopefully outstripped by its earning power – otherwise don’t buy the machine) determine its’ viability. But with an important twist; Ryko had to develop a strategy to sell the product.

I bought most of my FZ CDs in the ‘80s when first released (so that I could replace my LP collection which I still have). Ryko (which means ‘flash of light’ in Japanese, they saw themselves as a harbinger of the then-new CD technology) did poster campaigns for the FZ product, as it released a batch of re-done catalogue and they were also promoting their other artists. They issued samplers (Out Of The Blue was the first one and there were others, one with a cover mimicking the back cover of BWS with a word balloon) which gave the listener a taste of Zappa and the rest of their artists.

What I am saying here is that they did a good job by Frank and his work. The ’95 remasters showed their interest in spiffing up his releases and trying to work their investment. As a company, they seemed proud that they had the Zappa catalogue.

Maybe Frank signed a bad deal originally, or thought he did after he signed. Maybe the renegotiations weren’t totally to the ZFTs’ liking, but they were NEGOTIATIONS, the art of compromise gets the deal done. I do think Ryko’s claim that the anniversary sets include product which they had rights to is valid and for those who believe in the value of intellectual product, how the hell was the company to feel when they were sued by the ZFT which were then issuing competitive product that reduced the value of the Ryko original catalogue?

The model of marketing music has completely changed in the last 20 yeard. Maybe I don’t like the new model, but what the fuck does anyone care what an old man thinks? Rhino and BTB shows that there is a market for all kinds of FZ product and you would think that the ZFT could not find a better distribution partner than them or Ryko, both companies being committed to the music.

The whole affair, upon reflection, appears absurd.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm 
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tweezers wrote:
I do think Ryko’s claim that the anniversary sets include product which they had rights to is valid and for those who believe in the value of intellectual product, how the hell was the company to feel when they were sued by the ZFT which were then issuing competitive product that reduced the value of the Ryko original catalogue?
I still haven't come across a full explanation of what the ten year non competition clause means. You say that Ryko is entitled to be upset about competitive product, but I thought, from what Gail said a while back, that after ten years elapsed on the original deal, the rules changed. Maybe that (whatever the details of that are) made her think she was entitled to sue Ryko.

tweezers wrote:
The model of marketing music has completely changed in the last 20 yeard. Maybe I don’t like the new model, but what the fuck does anyone care what an old man thinks?
I know what you mean. As FZ once said towards the end, something like "These are just the opinions of an ageing buffoon."

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:40 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
I still haven't come across a full explanation of what the ten year non competition clause means...
¿¿ could the 1st 10 yrs 1995 -> 2004 cover any/all fz product unless released thru ryko ¿¿ lost episodes/lather/hios/mystery disc ... ¿¿ maybe the 4 bpr albums that came out in those 10 yrs were specific exemptions ¿¿ fz plays fz [resticted tracks], eihn, but fz:oz & halloween consisted of mostly previously released tracks

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:38 am 
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slime.oofytv.set wrote:
polydigm wrote:
I still haven't come across a full explanation of what the ten year non competition clause means...
¿¿ could the 1st 10 yrs 1995 -> 2004 cover any/all fz product unless released thru ryko ¿¿ lost episodes/lather/hios/mystery disc ... ¿¿ maybe the 4 bpr albums that came out in those 10 yrs were specific exemptions ¿¿ fz plays fz [resticted tracks], eihn, but fz:oz & halloween consisted of mostly previously released tracks


Gentlemen, that is the question, what is the 10-year hold? I agree poly that Gail could have misinterpreted the end of the deal, but she does have lawyers and she could have had consultations with the lawyers who drafted the 10 year deal, even if she no longer retains that counsel (one set of lawyers could have talked to the other set of lawyers).

This is the conundrum in my mind; even if there was confusion, sometime during the discovery/deposition process it would have been clear that Ryko had a claim that would be seen favorably by the court. Recognition of that could have resulted in a settlement before the court decision, rather than proceeding through and ending up with this ruling.

I am not defending Ryko, nor is my intent to assail GZ, but it does seem that this outcome could have been avoided (IMHO).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:30 pm 
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I was told that there wouldn't be math on this forum....

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:30 pm 
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tweezers wrote:
I am not defending Ryko, nor is my intent to assail GZ, but it does seem that this outcome could have been avoided (IMHO).
Whatever else, if both parties were out there just talking straight about what's going on then we wouldn't be having this discussion. As it stands, it just doesn't make obvious sense. Whatever the details of the figures presented above, it's pretty clear that the FZ music business still has some kind of substance. There must be some sense somewhere behind all these questions and both parties must be up to something, and eventually ... if I don't die first ... I guess I'll find out.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Drooling Midrange Accountants on Easter Hay?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:40 am 
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polydigm wrote:
tweezers wrote:
I am not defending Ryko, nor is my intent to assail GZ, but it does seem that this outcome could have been avoided (IMHO).
Whatever else, if both parties were out there just talking straight about what's going on then we wouldn't be having this discussion. As it stands, it just doesn't make obvious sense. Whatever the details of the figures presented above, it's pretty clear that the FZ music business still has some kind of substance. There must be some sense somewhere behind all these questions and both parties must be up to something, and eventually ... if I don't die first ... I guess I'll find out.


I spoke to one attorney who told me that entertainment contracts are generally fraught with ambiguities and often the courts have to sort them out - the parties are unsure of their reach.

I just want FZ product, and hope that this doesn't slow what has been, over the last couple of years, a fair amount of output.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:04 am 
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tweezers wrote:
I just want FZ product, and hope that this doesn't slow what has been, over the last couple of years, a fair amount of output.
Amen to that.

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