Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Music Business 2008: The Year in Review...

Paul Resnikoff, publisher of Digital Music News, sums up the year that was 2008 in the music business....

Survived 2008 okay? The year proved difficult for an already-disrupted industry, though "accelerated transition" could be the best description of current forces at work. As in previous years, consumers continued their shift towards digital formats, and free continued to beat paid. But a widespread economic downturn appears to be intensifying a long-running disruption.

The complete article has been posted at

Monday, December 22, 2008

Major Labels Ending Lawsuits Against Individuals.... Now What?

Just posted a new article/commentary by Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News at .

A good analysis of the recent announcement by the RIAA that they would no longer be bringing lawsuits against people sharing music on the Internet. They are taking a different approach to the problem, by working with ISPs to limit the account usage of copyright infringers.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy

Monday, December 01, 2008

The CD Goes into Steep Decline...

This morning, a new article posted at Digital Music News quoted Nielsen Soundscan as stating that the forth quarter of 2008 is "shaping up to be the worst decline in the history of the CD" in terms of sales. "In response, Wal-Mart has been driving the price of CDs southward, often below $5, and shrinking shelf-space aggressively. 'We suspect other retailers will follow Wal-Mart's lead and reduce CD floorspace significantly in 2009, as the format loses interest with consumers and ceases to be a traffic driver on 'new release' Tuesdays,' research analyst Richard Greenfield stated.

Overall, CD sales are down about 20 percent from just a year ago.

You can read the full article at . Good reading. Sign up for their newsletter while you're there. It's terrific.

I still think there is a place for the CD. There are a lot of folks of my generation (born in the 60's) and earlier who will never buy an iPod and who really aren't into the whole "digital music download" thing. If there's an album out there we really do want, we'll buy the CD. The problem is, there aren't that many albums we really want that we don't already have. Everything we were interested in "owning" we purchased years ago. And one of the things about getting older is that while we still enjoy listening to music, owning it just isn't as important anymore. The music we listen to doesn't "define our life" like it did when we were kids.

So my generation still enjoys CDs, we just buy less of them... a LOT less of them.

Remember getting those offers from "Columbia House" in the mail where you could get 13 CDs for a penny if you agreed to buy just five in the next year? That whole concept seems like a joke today. And you know... I haven't seen one of those offers in my mailbox in a really, really long time. Hmmm.....

Frankly, I don't know what I'd do if someone handed me a stack of CDs like that. I'd never listen to them. Tell me I could have any 13 CDs I wanted from a stack of 1000 and I'd walk away. It's not worth my time to even look. Why? Because I'm listening to music online now. Between Internet Radio, Pandora, and my Rhapsody subscription, I'm set for life. I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. No physical CD necessary.

Yea, I still buy CDs... maybe one a year. Maybe two. Three would be a lot. But 10 years ago? I probably bought two or three a month.

Record companies, there's a big part of your declining market.

The kids are aren't buying CDs because their going completely digital, buying downloads, putting them on their iPods, trading with their friends.

The mature generation isn't buying CDs because we already own pretty much everything we ever wanted. And when we do listen to "new" music, we get it online.

I probably buy more CDs as gifts for others than I buy for myself. Oh wait, that was LAST year! I didn't buy a single CD as a gift for anyone this year.

No one wanted one.

David Nevue
The Music Biz Academy