Thursday, October 30, 2014

Platinum No More

Maybe you saw the headlines  a couple of weeks ago that not one album that was released in 2014 has gone platinum.  The nearest thing to a 2014 platinum album was Beyonce s/t one from last December.  And even with all the hype that's surrounded that one, it still has only sold 750,000.  The only hope for a million seller in 2014 now lies with Taylor Swift's forthcoming release.

This total includes both physical, which we know is slowly dying on new releases, and digital which is also down.  There was no data on streaming services but the last I read they were flat as well.  So where are people going to find out their music.  My guess is free sites like YouTube and good old streaming radio stations.

In other words, if it's free the consumer will buy it.
But back to the original topic.  The only album of any sort that has sold over a million this year was the 2013 Frozen soundtrack.  And what's the industry going to do about any of this?  If the past is any indication, then not much.  Because they are always hoping for a magic turnaround.  I still see physical albums priced at the $10 range, digital slightly less.  The consumer decided long ago that they weren't going to pay for overpriced CD's.

As for my own personal buying habits, I now stream albums first before buying.  And even on ones I like, I'm cautious about buying unless I find a deal somewhere.  I figure I've done my part in trying to keep the biz alive by buying tons of music back before streaming, and getting burned on lousy albums.

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