Music is killing music

I’d never claim file sharing doesn’t hurt music sales, but there’s another simple reason why individual music releases will continue to sell more poorly over time: The continuous explosion of choice. Even if listeners spent as much on music as they did years ago, the chances of us buying the same releases drops constantly as “out-of-print” becomes meaningless.

Also it’s easier than ever to know about the “essential” albums and comps, and they’re reissued feverishly. Every indiepop band should make their music accessible as possible; you’re not just competing with Belle & Sebastian, but also Village Green, Odessey & Oracle, Field Mice reissues, awesome girl group comps, et al. Good luck!

Should I mention a Brittle Stars CD comp is in the works?

2 thoughts on “Music is killing music

  1. A similar phenomenon is occurring in the classical music field. Indeed, there is an embarrassment of riches out there, and while some lament the decline of the major labels and the inability of performers to make it long term at one label, buyers are spoiled for choice. A major label, in fact, competes against itself in the marketplace, when they have multiple recordings of the same music available simultaneously. This probably doesn’t hold true for popular music, though.

  2. says:

    I didn’t mention the subscription model like , but they at least solve the “essential” album problem by leveling the playing field. An interesting idea about subscriptions vs. physical record sales: An artist may see diminishing returns on releasing good songs after a point. Let’s say the Beatles are in the subscription plan and they release a new album that every Beatle fan must hear. In the physical model, this means a huge windfall, but in the subscription, all those fans now spend less time listening to the back catalog. The new album would only get them a short term promotional bump in income.

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