Common Cents for January 4, 2012…Happy New Year!!!

Last night, my wife was playing a song on the piano which I couldn’t remember having heard, but I liked it. So much so, I asked her what it was, and she told me it was from the movie “The King’s Speech.” Hmm. Since I hadn’t heard her play it before last night, I asked her when she had gotten the sheet music. Not that I cared that much; we had simply been out of town for the better part of the week, and I knew she hadn’t gone to the music store yesterday. So, when had she gotten it? I mean, if I have a wife who can produce sheet music out of thin air, I might be onto something big, you know?

She told me she had gone to some website; paid a small fee, a mere pittance really; and printed it out, nicely formatted for 8.5” x 11” paper. Frankly, she was somewhat over the moon about her discovery, as it would save money per piece of music, plus the website had a much greater selection than any bricks & mortar music store could ever possibly hope to maintain. Like a song? Print it out for what you can download it onto your smart phone. The economics and convenience blow the alternative away.

So much so, I said: “Well, it looks like you won’t have to go to the store to get your music in the future. I hope the people who work there can do something else.” Ahh; always back to the economic side of things, Mr. Sunshine and all of that.

I thought about this more than I probably should, and much more than the average person, the remainder of the evening. What of the typesetters? The illustrators? The orders to the paper company for special, higher margin paper? The clerks in the store? The distribution systems? The specialty shops who carry ‘hard to find’ pieces? All of it. While one piece of music printed out in a den in Birmingham, Alabama, won’t bring an industry to its knees, how about literally hundreds of millions of pieces of music across the country and globe?
…Read on…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.