Five-Finger Discount: Highbrow Edition

Miss Mussel’s Reuters Oddly Enough feed informed her yesterday that merchants at the Frankfurt Book Show can use the unofficial stolen book list to predict the bestsellers. In a nutshell, if people steal the books, the must be interesting and by extension, interesting enough for less opportunistic bibliophiles to purchase at a later date.

What would happen if it was classical music on offer?

The experiment would have to take place at an orchestra concert or some sort of classical music record label trade fair, if there is such a thing, in order to have an audience that is at least slightly interested in the product.

Traditional marketing and programming wisdom would say that most people would steal Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, possibly some Ravel or Schubert, especially if there was a pretty young soloist on the cover. But…these are basics of a classical music library and it is quite likely that many members of the group (audience) would already have copies of the main repertoire already. What would they choose when all their traditional desires are satisfied?

Would they be adventurous and take a risk because there was no financial penalty or would they play it safe and go with the traditional rep, or another version of their pet piece because they know what they like?

Would the price (perceived value) influence people’s decision?

Do people choose by piece, label, composer, performer, cover art?

There’s a PhD in here somewhere, but it is also possible that marketing departments could benefit from seeing what it is that people really what. Miss Mussel suspects that the results could very well be surprising.

What would you fill your trenchcoat with?

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