Thursday, July 13, 2006

If you're going into the music biz to make money...

Don't bother.

From Billboard:

Even in death, Johnny Cash is still mighty enough to top The Billboard 200. "American V: A Hundred Highways" earns the Man in Black his first No. 1 album since 1969's "Johnny Cash at San Quentin" with 88,000 copies sold in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan ... Though the top debut is a great posthumous achievement, the Rick Rubin-produced "American V" sold the fewest copies of a No. 1 debut since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The previous low for a No. 1 debut belonged to Destiny's Child's "#1's" in 2005, which started with 113,000.
Seems awfully, awfully low right? Here's why. This has got to be the worst week for music industry's sales since the Napster era:
At 9 million units, overall CD sales were down 6% from the previous week and down a whopping 15% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 5% compared to 2005 at 179.6 million units.
Five percent decreases are becoming the norm for the major-label music industry now. As early as 2001, the music industry has seen drops in yearly sales as large as six or seven percent. 2006 is on the way to make that even larger. That's why labels are treading old ground (which is why the Man in Black is selling records) and new, young previously-indie acts are getting signed, because major labels have absolutely no clue what their consumers want anymore.

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