Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Archive for March 26th, 2007

Facing the music

Posted by metaphorical on 26 March 2007

Last Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal took a careful look at last year’s steep decline in music sales.

In a dramatic acceleration of the seven-year sales decline that has battered the music industry, compact-disc sales for the first three months of this year plunged 20% from a year earlier, the latest sign of the seismic shift in the way consumers acquire music.  

The sharp slide in sales of CDs, which still account for more than 85% of music sold, has far eclipsed the growth in sales of digital downloads, which were supposed to have been the industry’s salvation.

We may be approaching the day when musical acts are no longer able to make a living selling their music.

Jeff Rabhan, who manages artists and music producers including Jermaine Dupri, Kelis and Elliott Yamin, says CDs have become little more than advertisements for more-lucrative goods like concert tickets and T-shirts. “Sales are so down and so off that, as a manager, I look at a CD as part of the marketing of an artist, more than as an income stream,” says Mr. Rabhan. “It’s the vehicle that drives the tour, the merchandise, building the brand, and that’s it. There’s no money.”

Mr Rabhan, welcome to my world.

Consider, if you will, the economics of book-writing.

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