Thursday, 11 June 2009

Music Cluedo: It was Jonny Blog, in his bedroom, with his Wii Fit.

I have just read an excellent piece on the guardian website about the decline of sales in the music industry( and have to agree with Charles Arthur whole heartedly. I think that the increase in games sales does indeed relate to the decrease in music, and that we have obviously found a more fulfilling (read economical) way to spend our money. That is not to say that people no longer love music, but that we can download the individual tracks we want (illegally or legally) and then spend the money we save on computer games (or DVDs). Add to that the drop in price for albums and you put more money in the pocket of an entertainment-whore of a consumer.

It's not so much the music business but the musicians who have shot themselves in the foot. For years mainstream bands have released woeful albums of the back of decent singles through the combination of laziness, cockiness and lack of real talent in the first place. Now that the consumer doesn't have to buy the whole album to get the good tracks musicians shouldn't be left wondering why their album sales have dropped off. The truth is that illegally downloaded tracks don't themselves represent a "lost sale" because if people had to pay for these extra tracks, they wouldn't download them. These albums that were knocked of in 3 months, all sounding the same and being slightly less catchy carbon copies of the "single" tracks have stopped selling (just look at the Kaiser Chiefs. Oh wait, you cant, they've disappeared).

Lack of "artistic endevour", so evident in other entertainment industries, has cost the major labels dearly. Notice how smaller, less MOR bands have been making waves recently as their heads show above the ocean of mediocrity, selling and gigging as well as ever. Changes in the industry (downloads, increase in festival numbers/sizes, music channels, youtube etc) have in fact helped the least commerical bands get their sound out. The music industry's thirst for money has been its biggest commercial mistake, and speed over quality has smashed them over the head with a wii fit in the living room.

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