"If people want to download my music thats fine, go ahead. It doesn't bother me.."
- Robbie Williams
Once again the music industry has found that its sales have dropped. Album sales have dropped and single sales are going down faster than a cheap hooker. The music industry is universally blaming increased piracy for the drops. Of cource there is another simpler explanation that springs to mind for me.. let me spell it out:
The majority of music is overpriced crap that many would prefer to pay to be stricken from the human races history forever rather than buy!
However it is for this reason that I think they may be correct about priacy, but not quite how they are telling it. I think that it is because the music is so bad that people are resorting to the (very easy) other methods to obtain music. Mp3's allow me to asses an album or artist quite well before I spend my money on them. If I find very few songs I like by an artist I will not spend the money required to buy the whole album. This brings me to my next point. Overcharging. I recently bought the Snake River Conspiracy album Sonic JiHad. I found out about this band through a friend sending me some mp3's. They are not played in this country except on obscure music TV channels that no-one has. Without mp3's and music swapping I would not have spent my money.
However then we actually come to the money... stupidly my local record store allowed me to see the price they pay for the album when they ordered it on their computer. They pay £8.26. Remember that number... for I paid £14.99 for it... 14.99!!!!! thats a markup of nearly seven pounds - over $10 for you americans! What kind of mickey mouse crap is this? Thats almost twice what it costs them!!
It was a real debate as to if I was going to pay that for a moment... I did, I have the album in the cd player atm, but I almost didn't. THIS is why people don't buy as many records, even the good ones are priced insanely! When you can't trust the quality of an album or artist (and you often can't nowadays) are the record people surprised sales are down? If they are.. why?
I can weed out the crap bands online, the crap songs, and I don't have to pay for it. Granted that I'd like to see the artists paid for their work, but when I only like one song on an entire album.. should I pay for that whole product? I don't think so. Artists mostly don't mind piracy (at least most of the ones that have any talent) because they know that if people like them then they will spread the word and probably buy the next album. Plus its the best way to break into foriegn markets.
As for singles.... well they are about a quarter of the price of an album, so is it surprising they don't sell? no.
Stupid record companies...