Other than being a music consumer, I’m not too familiar with the music business or how music sales are measured. Having said this, as a mere consumer I do have some insight into a recent article I read about American album sales hitting an all-time low.
The article I read stated that during the week ending August 25, weekly album sales had fallen below four million, to 3.97 million. I’m not a genius but that isn’t much of a difference. Still I guess people in the music business are concerned since that is the lowest sales have been since 1991. I understand the best-selling album last week was by a rapper named Wiz Khalifa. That album only sold 90,000 units, which more than likely were mainly purchased by Wiz’s family, friends and people who owe him money.
There seems to be some concern over sales of the “Frozen” soundtrack. For the first time in more than a year sales for the soundtrack fell below 100,000 units. Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the reason for this is because just about anyone who is going to own the soundtrack already has bought it? It’s just a shot in the dark, but maybe THAT is the reason why sales fell below 100,000 units. After all, the movie was released almost a year ago and talk of another movie featuring the characters is currently in the works. Don’t worry. I’m sure another soundtrack will emerge.
The article mentions the decline in CD and digital sales, as more and more people are seeking their music through free streamers. Speaking from a music consumer’s standpoint, I’m guilty of doing the same. Who wants to pay anywhere from $12.00 to $21.00 plus for a CD when all we really like is one song? How many people can actually afford that? It can cost anywhere from 99 cents to $1.29 to buy one song on ITunes. That’s much cheaper than having to purchase the entire CD. Better yet, if you can stream the song for nothing on YouTube, why wouldn’t you?
Although it is just my opinion, I also feel a big reason for the sales decline is the state of the music industry today. When I spend more time changing the dial on my radio than actually listening because every station is playing some shit song at the same time, I know it’s time to just turn the damn thing off. Or I pop in a CD of music that I actually like. I can’t defend purchasing music that sucks. I also can’t defend artists from past decades who have run out of money. They feel the best way to make some quick cash is to write a few new ditties, throw them on a CD with all their old rehashed tunes and hope people will buy the entire package. For one or two new songs? Not this music buyer.
Maybe if the kind of artists the music business generates improves, the music will improve as well, enhancing album sales. Until then, we still have the same old ho-hum shit to listen to day in and day out. I won’t be rushing out to buy a new CD anytime soon.