Saturday, December 29, 2012

why did the recording industry really collapse?

abc.net.au | Source: There are many variations of the same graph. The point is that there was a huge spike in the 90s and I aim to explain that.

You don't have to be an analyst to identify something wrong with the record industry's graph. Predicting an unprecedented period of revenue generation off the back of a two year growth period when two of the preceding three years had seen revenue declines (one of them large) is more than optimistic. It could be explained by new strategy, marketing and innovation pushes by the music industry, but hindsight shows no evidence of that.

In a nutshell, the music industry is adamant that illegal downloading is the prime cause of its revenues dropping over the past decade. Opponents say that we're buying more music than ever, but that we're buying individual songs and not expensive albums on CDs and that's why revenue is down. But is the current quality of music really comparable to what was on offer in the 90s? Or is it more akin to the 80s?

9 comments:

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Tom said...

His history's all jumbled up. Like anyone who hasn't gone back and done some homework, his timeline back before he personally started listening is all screwy. For example U2 and REM became huge in the '80s -- the period he's saying sucked -- not the '90s -- the period he's using them as champions for. Their work in the 1990s was mostly kinda ho-hum to their fans. It's as if I used the Grateful Dead as an example of awesome 1980s music, via Touch of Grey.

He brags about an early-1990s tribute band for the Dead Kennedys, for God's sake. Tribute band? Throughout the early '80s we had the actual Dead Kennedys. His wonderful Guns & Roses was a quintessential 1980s band. The whole article is full of those kinds of weird ahistorical "examples." There was plenty of good music in the 1990s-- but instead he seems perversely insistent on using examples that don't really come from that era.

I'm a lot more impressed with the format change to CDs (from your other post) as the key to the big surge in sales in the 1990s. That was a killer, people loved to pound down $16 for a CD of music they already owned on LP.

Tom said...

INXS was a 1980s band. Alice in Chains was a 1980s band.


Is he trying to prove himself wrong? The 1990s were full of great music but I'm not sure he's heard any of it!

Tom said...

The actual punk and post-punk eras sucked. The weak so-called revival of punk in the 1990s was awesome. OK!


Somebody who understands rap want to administer the coup de grace in that area? Because I imagine he's clueless about that too.

CNu said...

lol, I knew that if I baited the trap correctly, you wouldn't be able to resist. His two graphs are what exclusively provoked my interest Tom, that, and the fact that he proposed a thesis other than digital piracy for the decline of the record industry.

Tom said...

I figured, lol, but yeah I couldn't resist.

CNu said...

I'd be willing to wager that the quality of popular music has been directly proportional to the density, distribution, and ultimate decline of the Stanley Owsley effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owsley_Stanley

Tom said...

Get along kid Charlemagne http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5EQaEHNeco

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