A note from the FNO newsletter editor...
Hello FNO Bands and Performers,
it finally happened! FNO got a face lift. Thanks to all our
beta testers who gave the new site a spin before it went live last
week. If you haven't seen it, please be sure to visit FNO!
Suzanne Glass of Indie-Music.com wrote
this month's article about the end of the album and transitioning into
the digital era in regards to music sales.
If you want to be featured in a future newsletter, send me your info. Sorry, no featured artist this month.
Have a great weekend!
Festival Network Online
|« Newsletters Archive - To view previous newsletters, check out our archives! We
publish 3 newsletters each month! Art/Craft, Food/Commercial,
|The End of the Album? by Suzanne Glass
are albums going the way of the dinosaur? Digital music delivery makes
it very easy for music fans to pick and choose among the songs they
want to buy - and many of them pack their iPods with single songs, not
albums. In 2005, album sales were down 7.2 percent, while sales of
digital singles boomed - growing 150 percent, according to Nielsen
SoundScan. Just 3 years ago, albums sales accounted for over 90 percent
of all U.S. music sales. Last year, albums had sunk to 62 percent,
while digital singles had grown to 35 percent of music sales. Not since
the 1950's and 60's has the marketplace been driven by the single song
to this degree.
How will this trend effect the music business and the artist?
There's no doubt artists prefer recording and selling their music as
albums. Not only does it make financial sense, it makes artistic sense:
the artist can record 10 or more songs at one time, and draw on current
events or themes to create a discrete record of his/her creativity in
the current time frame. Artists can spend a few months writing new
songs, followed by a few months in the recording studio producing an
album, followed by a few months on tour promoting the album. It all
works artistically because each of those duties requires a unique focus
- it might not work so well if the artist is asked to write, record,
and tour all at the same time throughout the year.
Record labels naturally prefer albums because they pay better than
singles. If an album only contains 1 or 2 hit songs, fans might decide
to pass on the $15.00 album and buy only the 2 singles instead, for
$1.98. Considering some 85 percent of all major label releases already
lose money, it does not inspire confidence that their album releases
will be consistently strong enough to rival the singles' sales. And
that means an overall drop in revenue for labels (as well as artists,
whose royalties will be reduced accordingly).
So if both labels and artists hate the singles market, what is driving its current success? Music fans!
Fans now listen to more music on iPods, computers, and other digital
devices, and to less music on CD players and traditional radio. Online
stores like iTunes and services like Rhapsody open up a completely new
way to consume music. If I only like one song, or three songs, on an
album, I can easily purchase just those songs and download them on my
player. Even if I buy a whole digital album (usually at a lower price
than the same album on CD), I can easily rearrange the sequence of
songs, or mix up songs from different artists or albums, creating the
ultimate personal playlist with all my favorites - and no album
Consumers acquiring music like the new choices they are being presented
with, and ultimately, the laws of supply and demand will probably
dictate the outcome of the album vs. singles battle. For now, it looks
like singles are winning, and there's no clear path for albums to
regain their former dominance.
For musicians, an album-free marketplace will require major adjustments
in both artistry and attitude. It's a good idea for artists to pay
attention to the trends, and challenge themselves to produce and
release music in units fans will actually buy. Clearly, in the near
future, this will mean releasing singles, smaller collections of songs,
or albums which are consistently strong enough to entice the buyer to
purchase the full-length version.
Suzanne Glass is Founder, President, Editor, Marketing & Sales of http://www.indie-music.com
|Featured FNO Musician - No Feature this month, sorry!
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