US album sales continue to fall

Discussion in 'Music' started by MtnBiker, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Rapper 50 Cent had the year's best selling album in the US
    The slump in US music sales continued in 2003, but there were signs of an upturn towards the end of the year, according to industry statistics.
    CD sales fell by 2.1% to 636 million last year - compared with a decline of 8.7% in 2002, says Nielsen SoundScan.

    But positive signs came in the last three months of 2003 when CD sales were up 5.6% up on the same period in 2002.

    Rapper 50 Cent, jazz star Norah Jones and rock band Linkin Park were the best-selling artists of 2003 in the US.

    The country has endured three years of falling sales, which has been blamed on increased internet piracy and home copying.

    Online success

    In a break-down of 2003's figures, sales of new CDs dipped 1% compared with the previous year.

    Demand for catalogue albums, which have been on release for longer and often give record companies higher profit margins, was down 7%.

    Among the good news was that music video sales were up 79% and customers also bought more alternative, jazz and Latin albums than they did in 2002.

    The year has also seen success for legitimate download services like Apple's iTunes, which sold 25 million songs over the internet in the eight months since it launched.

    Universal Music Group, home to artists including 50 Cent, Eminem, Limp Bizkit and Nickelback, was the biggest record company with 28% of total sales.

    Meanwhile, Hip-hop group OutKast returned to the top of the US album chart to end 2003 at number one more than three months after their album was released.

    The two-CD album, titled Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, has now sold 3.1 million copies in the US.

    They also continued to dominate the singles chart, with two singles staying in the top two places on the Hot 100.

    Hey Ya! has been number one for a month while their song The Way You Move, featuring Sleepy Brown, stayed at two.

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    The country has endured three years of falling sales, which has been blamed on increased internet piracy and home copying.

    I think the fact that music just isn't that good latey is reason for loss of sales.
     
  2. Moi
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    Moi Active Member

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    I think it also has to do with the fact that musicians seem to be more interested in being celebrities than anything else. The price of CD's is ridiculous. It should be cheaper to buy them than it used to be for albums or cassettes but let's think about why it's not...could it be the greed of the performers?

    I think it's funny as heck that all the internet piracy is being bemoaned. Perhaps the trend will continue until the musicians get paid a salary befitting their status in life...a fun distraction rather than the demi-gods that people seem to be making them.

    I hope the music industry loses all their battles and someone figures out new and more create ways to stiff them.

    Instead of suing their fans, performers should be thinking of ways to ingratiate themselves enough that fans wouldn't mind spending $ on their music!
     
  3. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Well there are few musician on the popular music scene. They are mostly a bunch of pretty faces and flashing skin, you are right Moi they are just celebrities. The record companies are really the ones promoting this stuff. They want something that is a sure sell.
    There isn't as much promotional activity with a band that may sound great but not look really good in a video.
     
  4. Jackass
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    Jackass Active Member

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    :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  5. Dan
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    Dan Senior Member

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    Moi, I'm not disagreeing with you at all, but when thinking about the rise in CD prices, you also have to take into account the fact that the performer doesn't really make that much off of a CD. I read the figure once, and I think it was, for a $17 CD, the artist only gets something like fifteen cents or something like that? The majority of it goes to the retailer and the rest goes to the record company, the managers, etc. I think they're more to blame than the artists. That said, yes, most singers or "musicians" today are little more than greedy people who think music is a quick way to turn a buck.

    Another thing I was thinking about: ever notice how back in the 70's and 80's, most rock stars, and most performers in general, were kinda homely, if not butt-ugly? I think the advent of computer technology in the last 10, 15 years has a lot to do with musicians today being after the money. Back in the day, you actually had to be good at your instrument or singing to be famous, and generally those that are good ar the ones that play because they love to play, not because of the money. However, now that we have computers that can make absolutely anybody sound halfway decent (ever hear Kelly Osbourne "sing" live? sounds a little different than the album, huh?), they don't really need musicians who can play really well anymore. And now that pop music has become so much a visual as sonic medium, it's necessary for pop stars to look good, and I think that's become far more important than them sounding good, since they can just fix that in the studio anyway.

    I think industry officials just don't want to own up to the fact that record sales are down because, frankly, pop music just ain't been that good in the past few years. Steve Jobs, in an article in Rolling Stone, made a good point. He said that artists, when they're signed, recieve huge advances, because the record companies know that the artists don't get much money for the album sales. He suggested the company heads not offer advances and give the artist more money from album sales. That way, the artists will have to put out a good album if they want to make money at all. However, as he noted, the company heads don't want to do this, because that means they'll recieve less money from the albums.

    The only album mentioned in that article that deserves to be selling a lot is Outkast's CD. Also, Coldplay deserve all the sales they got for their CD.
     
  6. wonderwench
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    Good post Dan!

    You are correct about most of the money going to the record companies. IMHO, the RIAA and MTV has done a great deal of damage to the music industry. The former due to it's stranglehold on an obsolete distribution method for music - and the latter with its idiotic lawsuits against downloaders.

    The current big record lables package one or two decent songs with a bunch of drek in order to fill out a full album. This model worked as long as consumers did not have an alternative to unbundle. File-sharing, illegal though it is, has conditioned a new generation of music customers to focus on the track, not the album. Apple's music store is showing strong traction based on the new model.

    MTV has damaged music by creating stars out of dance acts that neither write music nor play instruments. It's a prepackaged horror show.
     
  7. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    MTV just plain sucks! Of course I have grown out of their demographic range. So it is going to be less atractive for me. But at least they use to play music videos about 90 or 80 percent of airtime. I doubt is 50 percent of the time now.

    I may be wrong about this but it seems there are less musical acts on the popular scene as there use to be say back in the 70's and 80's. And most of them now are cookie cutter acts. I swear most of the videos all look the same. Especially the rap videos.
     

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