Friday, March 30, 2007

The Death of the Demo (And, Albums Aren't Doing Too Hott Either)

Remember when the RIAA's attack pit-bull Hilary Rosen was suing 12-year olds, and everyone remotely forward-thinking about The Digital Age was warning the record industry to get off their fucking high-grade weed and see the-train-that is-a-coming? That train was iTunes. And Apple has foun\d a way for broke-ish college kids to listen to their music without taking out a bank loan. As if kids were really going to keep spending $20 a CD.

Kids need music as the unofficial soundtrack of their lives; if the recording industry prices out the kids, they will in vent ways to steal said music. And so, the record industry, behind the curve, is now following Apple. And the "payola" thing went the way of the dinosaur (Or, more accurately, payola went The Way of the Dick Clark). And who the fuck needs A & R people?

And if the recording industry isn't being bitchslapped around enough, the end of the demo tape is upon us. From Paidcontent:

"Once upon a time, aspiring rock stars sent dozens of demo tapes to record label bosses in the hope of getting signed. Now, in the age of MySpace, SonyBMG is scrapping that system - the label has partnered with blog software maker Six Apart to offer artists sites that, from next Monday, will be its primary method of hearing unsigned new acts in the UK. 'If you want our A&R team to hear your music, then don’t send a CD, REGISTER A BLOG,' the world’s number two record company says.

"The company will instead direct budding acts to or, each of which is a landing page for Six Apart’s easy-to-use Vox multimedia blogging software that, upon registration, automatically joins new members with a corresponding 'neighborhood' for each of the two label imprints. Label bosses including Columbia MD Mike Smith and SonyBMG Europe CEO Ged Doherty have started their own blogs, one of which says: 'We don’t want demo CDs anymore, it takes ages for you to do, they get lost and it’s a waste of plastic.'" (More Paidcontent)

"Albums," or CDs, aren't having a good time of it either. It's all good. We ultimately approve on the grounds that the end of the CD and the album era is a boon for the environment. Papermag's brilliant David Hershkovits hips us to this article we missed in the Gray Lady, which says, ""Last year, digital singles outsold plastic CD’s for the first time. So far this year, sales of digital songs have risen 54 percent, to roughly 189 million units, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan. Digital album sales are rising at a slightly faster pace, but buyers of digital music are purchasing singles over albums by a margin of 19 to 1. Because of this shift in listener preferences — a trend reflected everywhere from blogs posting select MP3s to reviews of singles in Rolling Stone — record labels are coming to grips with the loss of the album as their main product and chief moneymaker."



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