Worldwide music sales down again

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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:07 am

comfortstarr wrote:
Tatertot wrote: The drummer from Semisonic wrote that hilarious book which I highly recommend, in which he pointed out that A/R people are nice and often even intelligent, but their key feature is that they really love their jobs and their expense accounts and such.
But see, that's the thing, how many A/R people has he met? Let's say 20? How many people have that job? Now, I don't want to defend A/R folk... there's obviously bizarre compensation issues there that drive behavior. I just think we tend to malign major corporations and forget that they're made up of masses of people just trying to make a living the best they can--that doesn't forgive major corporations of their malfeasance, but it should inform our reaction to it.

I remember when Andersen Consulting was put out of business during the Enron mess. I was living in Chicago and saw one of the demonstrations from their employees in the loop. It was very eye-opening. It wasn't a bunchy of well-heeled partners, it was obviously normal, work-a-day folk.

I didn't mean to drag this thread off-topic. And I don't mean to be on a high-horse.
I'm with you here. Every time I have a little skirmish with somebody from a large corporation, say over my cell phone bill or whatever, I remind myself that the 'jerk' at the other end of the line is actually probably just a normal, fairly cool person with maybe a weird incentive to act a certain way to help the mother corporation. That's what I am speculating about A/R people too, see.

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Post by rwc » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:09 am

subatomic pieces wrote:
Tatertot wrote:@?,*???&? - Who was that attractive young lady in your old avatar (until Kuchinich hacked your avatar?) Just curious
yeah... wicked sweet of Jeff to start supporting Kucinich THE DAY AFTER HE DROPS OUT OF THE RACE.
All of these moves and posts remind me of Prince.

Changes his name to a symbol, avatar that brings him attention, and posts that are always controversial.

Like Prince changing his name to a symbol, doing weird shit to bring him attention, suing mother/youtube for uploading a video of a baby dancing to prince tunes playing in the background.

Jeff Robinson is the Prince of engineers. :lol: 8)
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Post by kung_fu_elvis » Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:40 pm

Careful... Prince may sue you for $35

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Post by T-rex » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:10 pm

Seriously man, you can approach the whole, there aren't enough "legitimate" releases angle all day long. It doesn't change anything. The majors have screwed themselves and the whole, "let's throw a ton of money at this release so it sells and is legitimate" is frankly, part of the problem.

Instead of developing a roster of great artists, most labels threw money at singles and supported increasingly unstable and top heavy corporate structures while charging prices for their crappy product that was far higher than the market was willing to bear.

Major label nielson rated music sales may be down, but I feel overall music is still being consumed at an increasing rate. The only thing the labels are/were good for in my opinion is to act as a type of filter so that - to your point - we aren't inundated with an infinite number of crappy choices that become increasingly more and more difficult to weed through. But somewhere along the way the labels failed at even that.
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Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:12 pm

T-rex wrote: The only thing the labels are/were good for in my opinion is to act as a type of filter so that - to your point - we aren't inundated with an infinite number of crappy choices that become increasingly more and more difficult to weed through. But somewhere along the way the labels failed at even that.
That "Infinite Crap Effect" might make people refocus onto local scenes. Which is good for almost everybody, in the long run.
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Post by chris harris » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:31 pm

the only thing that's really changed for me is that instead of finding out about bands that will likely interest me from cool magazines, I now find out about bands that will likely interest me from cool magazines AND cool blogs.

there are still plenty of filters that help you sift through the crap. It's not like you have to go to MySpace and just start searching through bands at random to find good music... though, that can be pretty fun. Find a band you like, and use their "top friends" as a springboard for discovering lots of good music.

and, indie labels that I've always counted on to provide a certain level of artistic quality can still be trusted to provide that same quality... there's never been a time in my life where seeing ANY major label name on a cd meant that it would likely be good or that I would enjoy it. But, if a record says Merge, SubPop, Kill Rock Stars, K Records, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Matador, or any number of other good indies, I know that there is a good chance that I will like the band on it.

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Post by fossiltooth » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:38 pm

Knights Who Say Neve wrote:
T-rex wrote: The only thing the labels are/were good for in my opinion is to act as a type of filter so that - to your point - we aren't inundated with an infinite number of crappy choices that become increasingly more and more difficult to weed through. But somewhere along the way the labels failed at even that.
That "Infinite Crap Effect" might make people refocus onto local scenes. Which is good for almost everybody, in the long run.
Totally agreed!

I forsee an industry that will once again focus around smaller regional labels. When they have something really amazing on their hands, they'll have instant access to global distribution.

We could be entering a beautiful age.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:45 pm

Knights Who Say Neve wrote:
T-rex wrote: The only thing the labels are/were good for in my opinion is to act as a type of filter so that - to your point - we aren't inundated with an infinite number of crappy choices that become increasingly more and more difficult to weed through. But somewhere along the way the labels failed at even that.
That "Infinite Crap Effect" might make people refocus onto local scenes. Which is good for almost everybody, in the long run.
Yes. In the face of 'national' playlists from corporate radio, 'local' is the new 'national'.

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Post by T-rex » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:02 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:the only thing that's really changed for me is that instead of finding out about bands that will likely interest me from cool magazines, I now find out about bands that will likely interest me from cool magazines AND cool blogs.

there are still plenty of filters that help you sift through the crap. It's not like you have to go to MySpace and just start searching through bands at random to find good music... though, that can be pretty fun. Find a band you like, and use their "top friends" as a springboard for discovering lots of good music.

and, indie labels that I've always counted on to provide a certain level of artistic quality can still be trusted to provide that same quality... there's never been a time in my life where seeing ANY major label name on a cd meant that it would likely be good or that I would enjoy it. But, if a record says Merge, SubPop, Kill Rock Stars, K Records, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Matador, or any number of other good indies, I know that there is a good chance that I will like the band on it.
Absolutely, I was commenting on the major labels being a filter for major commercial markets - hence sales being down for those types of markets. The great independents were always there on the fringes for people who didn't need to be told who the next great band was.
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Post by T-rex » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:04 pm

fossiltooth wrote:
Knights Who Say Neve wrote:
T-rex wrote: The only thing the labels are/were good for in my opinion is to act as a type of filter so that - to your point - we aren't inundated with an infinite number of crappy choices that become increasingly more and more difficult to weed through. But somewhere along the way the labels failed at even that.
That "Infinite Crap Effect" might make people refocus onto local scenes. Which is good for almost everybody, in the long run.
Totally agreed!

I forsee an industry that will once again focus around smaller regional labels. When they have something really amazing on their hands, they'll have instant access to global distribution.

We could be entering a beautiful age.
Absolutely, that is my sincerest wish that this is more of what the future will hold.
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Post by NarxistDan » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:18 am

based on the mastering alone, this album should have gone multi-platinum.
:rofl:

Poor Britney...

In my world it's about as relevant as sales being down in toothpaste but I kinda wonder if the major label sales decline has something to do with quality of the corporate stuff.

From the Top 20 today:
Flo Rida ft. T-Pain - Low
Chris Brown - With You
Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music
Alicia Keys - No One
Timbaland ft. OneRepublic - Apologize
BuckCherry - Sorry
Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction

From the top 20 1972
Neil Young - Heart of Gold
Don MacLean - American Pie
Al Green - Let's Stay Together
Bill Withers - Lean on Me
The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There

There's got to be an objective way to compare those lists that demonstrates how far we've come.
Granted, for most of us here, the best recorded music throughout history has not been the most popular, but the charts are worse now than they've ever been. It's been a slow desensitization since the advent disco and their bastardized hip-hop has conditioned young Americans to like music that isn't rooted in a live performance in any way. Is it possible that they just took it too far and the masses aren't having it? Probably not the whole picture but I do think it contributes in a big way.
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Post by fossiltooth » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:17 am

DanTheNarc wrote:
From the Top 20 today:
Flo Rida ft. T-Pain - Low
Chris Brown - With You
Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music
Alicia Keys - No One
Timbaland ft. OneRepublic - Apologize
BuckCherry - Sorry
Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction
That's crazy. I've actually never heard of any of these songs (as far as I'm aware), and I'm a genre-less music lover in his twenties. I think that says a lot about where and why the 'mainstream' music industry is failing.

Historically speaking, an open-minded music-fan like myself would at least be aware of current releases and would be involved in a dialog about which ones he liked or didn't like. I'm only 26 and I've shut myself off from the few remaining conduits of this garbage. More accurately, I feel like the majors have shut me out. The average music lover shouldn't be feeling this way until they're well into their forties. I'm not alone here.

I have nothing against mainstream music. When a good major label single is released, I'll find out about it eventually. ...And I'll admit it if it's good. "Crazy" by Gnarles Barkley and "Toxic" by Britney spears were both legitimately decent major label singles. These songs were probably out for months and months before I became aware of them. I tell you what, if these songs were the worst things on the radio, the world would be a much better place to live! I want to like mainstream releases. Just give me something worth listening to, and I'll happily devour it!

The Major Labels are shutting out music lovers. I think that's a bad business decision. They're suffering for it. Sucks for them, but it makes me smile. May they learn a lesson.

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Post by rwc » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:17 pm

fossiltooth wrote:
DanTheNarc wrote:
From the Top 20 today:
Flo Rida ft. T-Pain - Low
Chris Brown - With You
Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music
Alicia Keys - No One
Timbaland ft. OneRepublic - Apologize
BuckCherry - Sorry
Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction
That's crazy. I've actually never heard of any of these songs (as far as I'm aware), and I'm a genre-less music lover in his twenties. I think that says a lot about where and why the 'mainstream' music industry is failing.
I'm a genre-less music lover under 20 and I haven't heard any of those titles before, much less the actual songs.
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Post by TheShaggyFox » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:19 pm

ballpein wrote:Everyone knows that a band who can't come up with 15 or 20 grand to professionally produce and master an album doesn't deserve to be heard, or even call themselves musicians. After all, it's a well documented historical fact that until mankind developed modern recording techniques, humans barely had a concept of "music" beyond banging rocks together and crude, atonal grunting.

Lately, though, a lot of so-called "musicians" have been cheating us all by producing records on the cheap and even having the gall to distribute themselves! Some of these poseurs will even try to tell you that music is not about polished production or technical merit, but about "an artistic experience shared amongst community". This is, of course, the very basest form of hucksterism, a malicious lie that threatens to send us all back to the grunting, rock-banging dark ages our grandparents suffered through in the days before Dolby Noise Reduction was invented.

Obviously, what this all means is that real, legitimate music gets lost amidst the sea of under-funded crap these so-called "indie musicians" are flooding the market with.

Take, for example, the under-performing sales of the most recent Britney Spears album. With a production budget in the high six figures, this is obviously a highly legitimate recording, and any gifted engineer with a developed ear for legitimacy will tell you that, based on the mastering alone, this album should have gone multi-platinum. And yet, sadly, it has not - some would even say it has flopped, thanks in large part to all the unwashed, knuckle-dragging neanderthals who "record" "music" on meager budgets in "basement studios" and "distribute via community."

And who is the real loser in this sad story? It's not Britney, and it's not the Record Labels. It is all of us, the music-consuming public, who suffer, for we have lost our way, we've been seduced by the indie hucksterism, and we no longer know a legitimate record when we hear one. Frankly, we don't deserve Britney.

Our community has to mobilize if there's any hope of fighting this scourge. Write your congressman and demand full budget disclosure on all album covers! Just say no to regional "music scenes" and tell your friends it ain't cool to go to "gigs" that aren't in colosseums and/or don't have beer sponsors! And above all, always remember, "if it ain't charted, it's crap!"
You can't be serious.

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Post by JGriffin » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:15 am

TheShaggyFox wrote:
ballpein wrote:Everyone knows that a band who can't come up with 15 or 20 grand to professionally produce and master an album doesn't deserve to be heard, or even call themselves musicians. After all, it's a well documented historical fact that until mankind developed modern recording techniques, humans barely had a concept of "music" beyond banging rocks together and crude, atonal grunting.

Lately, though, a lot of so-called "musicians" have been cheating us all by producing records on the cheap and even having the gall to distribute themselves! Some of these poseurs will even try to tell you that music is not about polished production or technical merit, but about "an artistic experience shared amongst community". This is, of course, the very basest form of hucksterism, a malicious lie that threatens to send us all back to the grunting, rock-banging dark ages our grandparents suffered through in the days before Dolby Noise Reduction was invented.

Obviously, what this all means is that real, legitimate music gets lost amidst the sea of under-funded crap these so-called "indie musicians" are flooding the market with.

Take, for example, the under-performing sales of the most recent Britney Spears album. With a production budget in the high six figures, this is obviously a highly legitimate recording, and any gifted engineer with a developed ear for legitimacy will tell you that, based on the mastering alone, this album should have gone multi-platinum. And yet, sadly, it has not - some would even say it has flopped, thanks in large part to all the unwashed, knuckle-dragging neanderthals who "record" "music" on meager budgets in "basement studios" and "distribute via community."

And who is the real loser in this sad story? It's not Britney, and it's not the Record Labels. It is all of us, the music-consuming public, who suffer, for we have lost our way, we've been seduced by the indie hucksterism, and we no longer know a legitimate record when we hear one. Frankly, we don't deserve Britney.

Our community has to mobilize if there's any hope of fighting this scourge. Write your congressman and demand full budget disclosure on all album covers! Just say no to regional "music scenes" and tell your friends it ain't cool to go to "gigs" that aren't in colosseums and/or don't have beer sponsors! And above all, always remember, "if it ain't charted, it's crap!"
You can't be serious.
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