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I think the reason music sales are in massive decline is: Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 30th August 2012
  #1
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Wolf LeProducer's Avatar
 

I think the reason music sales are in massive decline is:

Most of this music sucks ass. Plain and simple.

I would not buy anything from Adele, Justin Bibber, Lady Gag Gag, Taylor Swift, Reeyawna, Leetle Wayne, Goat e "yea." Etc, etc, etc...

Anything I have heard on FM radio in the last ten years.. I would not buy.

On top of that, there is a ton of media fragmentation, and a ton free and legal listening alternatives...

That is why the music bizz is changing. But there is still an opportunity here.. I believe it with all my heart. No.. Its not the same opportunity it was.. and you are wasting your time if you are searching for, "1980s, and getting paid to engineer on Springsteens next hit."

But there is definitely an opportunity for good, independent producers.. I know there is.. its just very hard to figure out, but its definitely there!
Old 30th August 2012
  #2
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GJ999x's Avatar
Id suspect that piracy and the overall functioning of the global econony (more and more to fewer and fewer, and vice versa) is more to blame...

That said, if op is a 15 year old girl with representative opinions of chart music, maybe we do have an objective music quality problem..

Sent from my GT-I9100P using Gearslutz App
Old 30th August 2012
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf LeProducer View Post
Most of this music sucks ass. Plain and simple.

I would not buy anything from Adele, Justin Bibber, Lady Gag Gag, Taylor Swift, Reeyawna, Leetle Wayne, Goat e "yea." Etc, etc, etc...
old argument... bay city rollers, leif garret, etc... "music sucks" is the lamest of all excuses.... the artists you are citing are currently the largest and best selling of the past decade... and everyone is effected, not just the current crop of pop artists but also bands like Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Kings Of Leon, etc, Etc, Etc...

but let me ask, what are you listening to, that doesn't suck?
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Old 30th August 2012
  #4
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What we need is a return to the high standards of yester year ......

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window - Patti Page - YouTube




The real problem is that most songs don't contain enough cow bell.
Old 30th August 2012
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

The popular showcased music doesn't seem any worse than ever. But the part about you not buying it is key, because even many of the people who like it won't buy it.

The word "piracy" is incorrect I think, and should be replaced with "internet", or "digital global information distribution network". Things would change with or without piracy.

It used to be that a magazine was a treat of tantalizing tidbits of info. People would pay for a magazine, because of that package of reward, that tickles the brain.

But the packaging was only necessary because, the info needs to be delivered somehow, and how else could it be done? Today, it can be done online.

Instead of paying for a physical package of info, you can see it for free on any internet-capable device, many of which fit in your shirt pocket. That's not piracy.

It's a new model. When is the last time you've used a physical dictionary, or phonebook? Maybe you do and are left out of this new way, but most don't anymore.

Why would you? Why pay for a dictionary, magazine, or use a phonebook when it's all available faster, cheaper, and with the added bonus of social comments?

It's ad-supported now. Even this forum. We're not in a bar, or trade show, where people pay some kind of entrance fee. There's a banner ad ^ for "stereo impulse shaper".

Is that piracy? It's business, but one where the time and place for payment has changed, because the internet lowered costs, and it's not worth it to pay pennies 24/7.

Instead of micropayments, which all of this is worth, we shift it over to the advertisers, who handle it for the masses, and it is how all of this works, from Google to Gearslutz.

But you know what? I still keep getting phonebooks! They go right in the recycle bin, but they keep coming. Some people just refuse to let go of their replaced ways.

Do you want to be one of those people? Do you want to complain about people stealing info that used to only come from your high-priced package of dead tree print?

I would pay someone to take records away from me. I would pay for all my CDs to disappear, because they take up space, and become burden I must deal with someday.

I don't want to buy music in a packaged form like a book. I still want music, but I also do not want to pay $1 for a single song packaged in compressed lossy MP3 format.

Music, like all information, is very cheap now, because much of the cost in the past was in the production, packaging, distribution, and marketing of all kinds of information.

All of those things have dropped extraordinarily in cost, not because of piracy, but because of global electronic distribution channels becoming commonplace.

If you think music sucks today, you're still just looking to those old magazine stands. If you're wondering why no one is paying, while looking there, your conclusion makes sense.

But the real reason is because most people don't need magazine stands anymore. Any existing magazine shop full of them is a relic from decades ago. Things change.

There's so many of these old perspectives still trying to thrive in this forum. Strange, considering this is the internet, and we are talking for free, without pirating.

Even if no one ever pirated a single song, all of this would be happening. It'd just be like the free online dictionary you use, or the free TV show you watch on FOX.com.

Music is cheap. Anyone with the potential can produce it for very cheap in their bedroom during spare time. Then deliver it to the world, for free, instantly.

People aren't buying, because packages of information are like paper maps and phonebooks; no one needs them anymore, and it's actually burden to deal with them.

I can load up a website, and listen to music, for free, without pirating. But the costs are so low, pirating mp3s covers the costs in exchange for promotion and distribution.

Pirating music is a service. Just like, urbandict.com is to dictionaries. People are sharing information, and most people will go there instead of buying some dumb slang dictionary.

As soon as you can realize that, the sooner you stop trying to spread your dead trees to people's driveways, and join the world as it flourishes today, with new distribution.

If music sucks, make it better, and package it in a form where people don't have to pay the cost of having to pull out their wallet, while still making it worth it to you.

It's not enough to just have great music. You need to understand, even if you made the most amazing music ever, it's not worth the burdens involved with paying for it.

One reason is because it's work to make the payment, and there's fees involved. PayPal minimizes some of that, but it's not worth it to type my password for a <=$1 sale.

It's also too much to think about. If you had to think if you wanted to pay some fee to read every thread on this forum, you wouldn't bother to read, and the forum would die.

It also requires layers of complication built into the information, to try to control it and protect it from being freely exchanged, which increases the costs to use it legitly too.

I do not want to have to think to pay something, type in my password, go through the confirmation process, just to get something that is locked up needing more work to use.

It's too much! No music is worth that, because I don't just listen to 1 artist, I listen to 10s to 100s. I also don't know what music I like until I have it and gave it a chance.

There's just no reason to pay. Even if you did love Lady GaGa. Is she really worth the efforts involved with buying a CD or whatever, getting tangled up in restriction?

Just pulling out a CD and inserting it into your car stereo player is too much cost nowadays. The same can be done without thought or action, with auto-MP3 play.

But yeah, there are lots of free legal listening channels, and there are still lots of opportunities, and yeah, you should still hope for better music to be produced.

You just should be sure to recognize the rest of the picture so you don't focus purely on making better stuff, without realizing that it doesn't matter how good it is...

People still won't buy.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Thanks for reading. There might've been some words that interested you, but I know you wouldn't have paid for them. Instead I produce and share this text from within the new information distribution models, where I don't get paid directly. Yet we still do it, we still write and share. It's worth it, just like it's worth trying to produce better music, even if no one pays for it directly. There's ways to make this work, and it's exciting times to be alive for people who love info.
Old 30th August 2012
  #6
I think its a combination of ever-evolving technology, a huge depression, and an economic infrastructure decaying from the top down
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Old 30th August 2012
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
People consume entertainment differently now. The major music consuming demographic now views music as the backing track of their personal celebrity; the soundtrack for their personal FB timeline. It's all about me today; not you. You're suppose to be my fan. Me being your fan diminishes me in this culture.
Old 30th August 2012
  #8
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What is your idea of good music? Beatles, Sinatra, Gaye, Pearl Jam, Pavement? All of those guys are getting traded over file-sharing servers just as much as Taylor Swift and Waka Flocka Flame. Their music is also available for free on Youtube and Pandora.

People DL what they want to listen to, not music they think is bad.
Old 30th August 2012
  #9
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Yes the mainstream stuff in all commercial genres is all **** to the letter. Dumbed down simplified beat driven garbage for the masses to watch Jersey Shore and bump and grind to. Lots'a great music out there. None of it in the mainstream.
Old 30th August 2012
  #10
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Fergies Watch's Avatar
someone must buy all of that overtuned overproduced baloney rapping nonsensical garbagy screaming and shouting, 1000bpm tripe !

think that just about covers most up to date stuff......

bring back ABBA all is forgiven

man I sound like mi grandad
Old 30th August 2012
  #11
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Quasar's Avatar
One can see the 20th century era of star-studded commercialism and its centralized mass marketing of recorded media for universal consumption as a sort of historical anomaly. The Information Age, ironically perhaps, may act as a catalyst to create a more traditional landscape of traveling entertainers, bards, trained concert hall performers, home musicians who share their music among friends and neighbors (or virtual neighbors).

People will create, render and distribute their musical works in a variety of ways and to various degrees of critical acclaim or success. It's all OK with me. IMHO, we neither need nor are we well-served by having a handful of popular entertainers functioning as icons or gods, who define for us the essence of the role music plays in our overall cultural life.
Old 30th August 2012
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsowa View Post

People DL what they want to listen to, not music they think is bad.
Bravo.
Old 30th August 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

There's a difference between wanting to listen to something, and being willing to pay to listen to it.
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Old 30th August 2012
  #14
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Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
The Information Age, ironically perhaps, may act as a catalyst to create a more traditional landscape of traveling entertainers, bards, trained concert hall performers, home musicians who share their music among friends and neighbors (or virtual neighbors).
And that's good?
Why don't we ban professional sport and go back to the 'traditional' ways like watching a rag tag of neighbours playing basketball in the local court rather than Lakers vs Nets at MSG. Or the tradition of Olympians taking all four weeks of their allowable annual vacation from the day job to compete in Rio.
Old 30th August 2012
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamon View Post
There's a difference between wanting to listen to something, and being willing to pay to listen to it.
Huh?
That really makes no sense.
I want to drive a Porsche, but don't want to pay $100,000. So what do I do next in your opinion?
Old 30th August 2012
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Testdrive one at a dealership? Ask your friend to try theirs? If you want to own one, you can't, because you can't download a car.

But you can download a song.
Old 30th August 2012
  #17
You can legally test drive music.
Old 30th August 2012
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah, and if that's what's cheapest, then that's what you do.

I want a song 10. It costs 20 to buy. If that's the only choice, I don't get it.
If I can download it for 5, then that's what I do, because 5 is less than 10.
Old 30th August 2012
  #19
Presumably you do what is right by the artist.
Your figures are obtuse. The actual choice is mostly $X vs $0.
If X = 5 or 10 it makes no difference if most people choose $zero.

You do the honest thing by Porsche by test driving the car. You do the honest thing by any artist by test driving their music in the way they offer. Most of the time the 'cheapest' way to access music is free, against the artist's wishes. You screw the artist when you obtain the music free, if they haven't offered it free.
Old 30th August 2012
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

The artist is out of the picture. It's like saying you eat what is right by the farmer.

It's about cost, not US dollars. Nothing is zero cost, not even downloading for free.

There are songs right now I want 1, but even pirating would cost 2, so I don't.
Old 30th August 2012
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamon View Post
The artist is out of the picture. It's like saying you eat what is right by the farmer.

It's about cost, not US dollars.
I'm a believer that if you rule your decision making purely on cost, you lose out in the end.
Of course you have to think of the farmer.
If you demand such low cost, farmers have to cut corners to survive.
In recent years we've seen numerous deaths from bacterial outbreaks in farmed products.
In reality it's a balancing act. Just the same with music.
You don't want to over compensate, but at the same time you have to understand what the base cost of producing a quality product is.
Pay under that cost, and you are importing products from 3rd world countries with less stringent chemical bans in place. Pay much less for music and you are reducing the numbers of full time exponents, and reducing the hours they can spend on their work.
The walmart (low cost is king) model is proving to be a mistake in food production. And will be seen to be a disaster in the arts too.
Old 31st August 2012
  #22
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SoundCtrl – Guest Post: DeVon Harris – “Race to the Middle”


Quote:
In VC parlance, this is de-risking the situation. The closer to the mean – what is currently playing on radio or selling well online/in stores – the less theoretical risk is at hand.
Risk not , want not .....


Artis development ( the equivalent of R&D for other industries) Is Kaputz.
First we demonitize the industry , then we complain about the cookie cutter army of tripe that ensues ...


It's like complaining that the goose who lays the golden eggs isn't laying eggs anymore ( that little rat bastard) when the goose is in fact dead because we didn't feed him.


You humans ! what fools !!
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Old 31st August 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

It doesn't work that way though when they're literally removed from the picture. When you go to the grocery store, there's no farmers there asking a price. It comes down to your desires, and the costs involved.

If I discover that I downloaded your music without paying, and I've used it to either improve my life or help me survive, and you're right here, in the picture, saying you need money to eat, I'll type my PayPal password.

But I'm not going to bother to go seek out legal channels, read a bunch of terms, create account, setup payment method, then have to undertake the task of previewing songs, and thinking about which I should buy with my limited funds.

I will either download some songs when it's practically free, or not. Music isn't in short supply. If all the places to get the professional stuff free were gone, then I'd just be listening to less polished recordings made in bedrooms.

People only pay if there's a real reason to. For a lot of people, they simply don't know how to download for free, and their hardware MP3 player came with some software they installed that sets up a scenario where you pay $1 for a song.

They're not paying because they're doing the right thing, trying to support quality produce from organic farmers. They're just in a different equation, and the costs to buy are smaller than their desire and funds, so they do.

If there are quality producers, and I won't have anything good to listen to if they aren't supported, then get out there and make yourself part of the local picture. Come on a "pirate" site and post your PayPal address.

Seriously, do that. It might be surprising to people who keep equating cars to songs, but not to "pirates". They are clever and powerful, setting up distribution bigger than record companies out of a community spirit.

They are your friends, if you want them to be. If you see people downloading your stuff unauthorized somewhere, go introduce yourself to them, and post your PayPal. I guarantee you'll receive some payment.

That's a real guarantee, where if someone reading this does it and gets nothing, I will PayPal you.
Old 31st August 2012
  #24
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JamesAsh's Avatar
 

Quite a stupid analysis in my opinion. The quality of pop music has not changed, just accessibility.

Don't you think people have said popular music is **** for the past 40 years? Because they have.

The reason for the decline is piracy, pure and simple. You ain't gonna pay for something that you can get for free, especially when everyone else is getting it for free too.

You say you wouldn't buy songs from 'Gag Gag', 'Bibber' and 'Goatyeah' (hilarious), but you fail to mention that sales of single songs have skyrocketed thanks to the digital era. If 'Gag Gag', Adele, 'Bibber', Taylor Swift can shift 5-10million copies of an album in an age when hardly anybody buys albums, imagine how many copies they would've sold when people DID buy albums.
Old 31st August 2012
  #25
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Quasar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
And that's good?
Why don't we ban professional sport and go back to the 'traditional' ways like watching a rag tag of neighbours playing basketball in the local court rather than Lakers vs Nets at MSG. Or the tradition of Olympians taking all four weeks of their allowable annual vacation from the day job to compete in Rio.
This topic could get neck deep really fast, but who's talking about banning anything? I'm merely suggesting that we may be undergoing a paradigmatic shift in which the model will ultimately be abandoned. If you see a world rooted in serving the interests of large amounts of aggregated capital as a good thing, I can understand that, because that's the zeitgeist; that's what the educational systems of the developed Western world refer to as progress or whatever. But this doesn't mean that it's necessarily going to last forever, especially in a time when the word "sustainable" means "alternative" at the local food co-op.... Are you really going to use the way an American record company exec might have seen economic reality in 1950 or 1985 as the basis for how music and culture are supposed to interact in all times and in all places? Is this some default gold standard for that?
Old 31st August 2012
  #26
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narcoman's Avatar
 

What I find amusing is the kind of person who can't find anything good to listen to now would have been the same sort of person who, had they also been 40 years old in 1967 , wouldn't have given Aretha or Hendrix a listen either. Some people only like th music they grew up with.... to me - that's not someone who loves music generally but rather equates music to times in their life, which is as good a reason as any. I'm more of a "likes music generally - intrigued to see what people from all walks do..".

Personally? I've found stuff I have liked from every single year since recording began... love Gershwin, love Dylan, love the Stooges ( o yes) - > Know what? Love modern rock from QOTSA or Jack White... but I also like Adele and Gaga... cant stand Beiber and the phoney ****e around - but you can't lob Gaga, Adele of Goatboy into the same pile. Its the same difference as listening to Wings and the Bay City Rollers back in the day - one was pretty good, one utter trash. Or the Eurthymics in 84 and Modern Romance. One great - one ****e.

Im gonna make a guess here - and it's not negative, but is what it is - OP are you now about 36 years old?
Old 31st August 2012
  #27
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JamesAsh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
What I find amusing is the kind of person who can't find anything good to listen to now would have been the same sort of person who, had they also been 40 years old in 1967 , wouldn't have given Aretha or Hendrix a listen either. Some people only like th music they grew up with.... to me - that's not someone who loves music generally but rather equates music to times in their life, which is as good a reason as any. I'm more of a "likes music generally - intrigued to see what people from all walks do..".

Personally? I've found stuff I have liked from every single year since recording began... love Gershwin, love Dylan, love the Stooges ( o yes) - > Know what? Love modern rock from QOTSA or Jack White... but I also like Adele and Gaga... cant stand Beiber and the phoney ****e around - but you can't lob Gaga, Adele of Goatboy into the same pile. Its the same difference as listening to Wings and the Bay City Rollers back in the day - one was pretty good, one utter trash. Or the Eurthymics in 84 and Modern Romance. One great - one ****e.

Im gonna make a guess here - and it's not negative, but is what it is - OP are you now about 36 years old?
Bless this post.
Old 31st August 2012
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamon View Post
The popular showcased music doesn't seem any worse than ever. But the part about you not buying it is key, because even many of the people who like it won't buy it.

The word "piracy" is incorrect I think, and should be replaced with "internet", or "digital global information distribution network". Things would change with or without piracy.
yes, they should have changed for the better...

the promise of the internet is size and scale

in 1999 in the USA there were probably 10 thousand retail points of sale for physical music, tower, sam goody, target, walmart, etc.

at the time they were selling $20 dollar physical discs - much of the overhead due to physical packaging, manufacturing, shipping and stocking fees.

these physical retail locations had all the problems of supply side inventory management - a band would be on tour, and no stock would be in that market, a song would be played on the radio and the album would quickly be out of stock, etc. a tv show or commercial features a song and suddenly there is demand, but no availability.

these supply side inventory issues combined with limited points of sale were a massive problem for the record industry.

digital distribution has none of these problems

today someone can walk from their living room to their computer (or it may be on their lap) to order the latest hot song, featured in Gossip Girl. Or not even, they can buy the song/album on their iphone while watching the tv show or in a movie theater or at a club or concert.

so today in 2012 there are an estimated 500 million* retail points of sale for prerecorded music via itunes alone.
Apple iTunes News: 500 Million Active Users, New Bebo Deal, and iPhone Requires iTunes Account - hypebot

just stop and think about this for a second... we went from 10 thousand points of sale to 500 Million points of sale in less than a decade and removed all of the supply side inventory issues... wow.

the promise, size and scale of the internet should have seen sales of pre-recorded music increase, massively...

there is frequent argument made that if music cost less, it would sell more... well, we now have 99 cent songs and 9.99 albums and sales have dropped by half in a decade...

so the industry adapted by:
1) removing inventory problems
2) making music instantly available
3) allowing for songs to be sold individually at a price never before possible and...
4) dropped the price of the album by half of the retail list price of a decade ago

all of this should be a net positive, not a net negative except for one very big thing... payment is now optional to everyone, and there are no consequences for not paying...
Old 31st August 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
What I find amusing is the kind of person who can't find anything good to listen to now would have been the same sort of person who, had they also been 40 years old in 1967 , wouldn't have given Aretha or Hendrix a listen either. Some people only like th music they grew up with.... to me - that's not someone who loves music generally but rather equates music to times in their life, which is as good a reason as any. I'm more of a "likes music generally - intrigued to see what people from all walks do..".

Personally? I've found stuff I have liked from every single year since recording began... love Gershwin, love Dylan, love the Stooges ( o yes) - > Know what? Love modern rock from QOTSA or Jack White... but I also like Adele and Gaga... cant stand Beiber and the phoney ****e around - but you can't lob Gaga, Adele of Goatboy into the same pile. Its the same difference as listening to Wings and the Bay City Rollers back in the day - one was pretty good, one utter trash. Or the Eurthymics in 84 and Modern Romance. One great - one ****e.

Im gonna make a guess here - and it's not negative, but is what it is - OP are you now about 36 years old?

They say that electronic music is becoming more popular in the U.S. ; there is even a terrestrial radio station in Denver that's playing all sorts of it . It's got some hooks to it for sure , but after a while I get tired of everything having a 4 on the floor beat !!!!!! That's one effect I suppose , producers seem to be less interested in making their own statment and sound and are instead very closely following formulas and using DAW's to quantize things in a paint by numbers fashion...


There is a smaller pie for the music industry so folks are not taking as many risk...
Old 31st August 2012
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesAsh View Post
Quite a stupid analysis in my opinion. The quality of pop music has not changed, just accessibility.

Don't you think people have said popular music is **** for the past 40 years? Because they have.

The reason for the decline is piracy, pure and simple. You ain't gonna pay for something that you can get for free, especially when everyone else is getting it for free too.

You say you wouldn't buy songs from 'Gag Gag', 'Bibber' and 'Goatyeah' (hilarious), but you fail to mention that sales of single songs have skyrocketed thanks to the digital era. If 'Gag Gag', Adele, 'Bibber', Taylor Swift can shift 5-10million copies of an album in an age when hardly anybody buys albums, imagine how many copies they would've sold when people DID buy albums.


yup.
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