Lion of Light

Is the Music Business Dying?

I've been in contact with some of the key players in the industry and so I happen to be in a position to be in the know about some of the ins and outs. Here's some of what's happening. 500 Record Stores per year are closing... 76,000 people have lost their jobs... The perceived value of music in the minds of consumers has been plummeting... Recording costs continue to rise in big studios... 6 million bands or so on myspace all think they've got something and are flooding the market with what amounts to white noise... I'm also convinced, by the way, that myspace has contributed to the concept that music is less valuable, since every song one could want to hear has become freely available here (btw I may have to start putting up samples instead of full songs just to do my part to counteract this lowering of value in the average person's mind)... Record Companies are getting more and more risk averse as a result of this stuff and only putting out formulaically proven stuff as a result (ie music that sucks)... and Piracy... yeah we all know it's insane. Wal Mart, who accounts for 37% of music sales, yes I know it sounds insane but it's true 37%! has decided music doesn't make enough per sq. inch of their floor space. Many anticipate that in the next couple of years they will scale back their catalog and only carry the top 200 selling cds. This means if you're an Indie or on a Large Indie Lable, even Major Label artists not high enough on the totem pole... forget about it, 37% of the pie is gone. Also cute was both Best Buy and Wal Mart's idea to sell CDs below cost for a while. Effectively & Artifically lowering the value of a record in the consumers mind to under $10. They then tell the distributor they can't buy records for more than $7.25 and because they account for such a large market share the distributor has trouble saying no, which means when the label sells to the distributor they aren't getting much, and you can imagine how much the artist gets... for those of you that don't know... you have to sell about 750,000 records on a major label before you recoup the advance they give you to make and promote a record. Since very few are getting that many sales now... you do the math. Here's more fun stuff: Some of the biggest distributors, who have always budgeted for 20% returns (if a cd doesn't sell the record store can return it and get their money back from the distributor). In the last year these distributors are seeing 50% returns. Let's just say this HURTS these people. Let's just say this HURTS record companies. Let's just say this HURTS the artists who make the music... What's to be done? Now more than ever... SUPPORT the music you love by buying it, buying merchandise from the bands, going to their shows... or it may disappear, and that would really be a monumental shame. Oh, btw, all you people out there pirating music... just so you know, a lot of this is your doing. If you want music to get even worse and more of the people who make it, and make it available to you, to lose their job, keep right on stealing it. Everyone loves music, I don't see how anyone cann say it's over priced at just 99 cents per song. So do your part my friends... If you love someone's music, don't steal it, buy it. Be Ever in Bliss
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