Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Music Industry

Earlier, I posted about Pink Floyd and how I wish that other bands would focus more on creating a universal music piece as an album, not necessarily focusing on the specific track. But, I can understand why many, many recording artists are putting so energy into the one hit song as opposed to the album as a whole. The music business is a dying industry.

Every month, Rolling Stone features an article at the beginning of the magazine that focuses on the status of the music industry. I always quickly eyeball it, but it's really coming to ridiculous measures.

Rolling Stone facts from this month's magazine:

-Album sales have fallen 25% since 2000.

-Digital music sales are up 2,930%, yet it does not make up for the lack of album sales.

-US total album sales in 2000: 785.1 million.
US total album sales in 2006: 588.2 million.

-Digital single sales in 2003: 19.2 million.
Digital singles sales in 2006: 581.9 million.

-36% of American record stores have closed since 2003.

-"We have a business that's dying. There won't be any major record labels pretty soon."


The statistics aren't shocking, for music downloading is becoming common for people of all ages. The world is becoming digital, not necessarily focused on physical "things" like CDS when one could carry an iPod that could account for 50 CDs. I just feel bad for the music artist who has to cope with the loss of income.

Instead, artists have to sell themselves in other ways, like with image, music videos, merchandise, and, especially, touring. Ticket prices are sky-high now. It seems ridiculous how much ticket prices are becoming! It's all understandable, but it really does suck.

A great recording artist, Beck, said "It's not technically an audio thing anymore. It's something else."

He's right, but I'm sad that it's come to this level because isn't that what music is all about--the music itself??

This shift in demand causes horrible "artists" to surface. Look at the whiney punk bands that go for image like Fall Out Boy (yeah, they're real badass), or the over-sexed teenage girls like Britney and Christina in their hayday. Music never used to be about appearance, but that's almost everything now. Image. Music is image.

Music does adapt over time, and different artists leave their stamp on history. Different artists leave their influence, and music is never the same after that point. Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, James Brown, The Beatles, etc.--they all shaped music history, as did many, many more. I just feel that we're taking a destructive route (even though we really can't help it), but I hope that some souls do exist out there who can still keep music on a good track--ignoring image and creating original, true music that is not just concerned with creating a catchy chorus that can sell well with iTunes.


1 comment:

Coob said...

it's not a dying industry, it's shifting drastically.