My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Daily Archives: March 24, 2010

Classic Rewind: George Jones & Lorrie Morgan – ‘A Picture of Me Without You’

Some suggestions for reviving music sales

Much has been written about the decline in album sales, which are gradually being supplanted by digitally downloaded individual tracks. The music industry is being returned — kicking and screaming — to a more singles-based business model, which has resulted in a big decrease in revenues. In attempting to reverse this trend, the major labels have begun a variety of experiments with way they release and distribute music. Universal Music Group recently announced that they will be lowering the prices of CDs. Warner Bros. and Curb have optedĀ  to have their artists release two or three albums of shorter duration within a few months of each other, as opposed to the traditional method of releasing a full-length album every two or three years.

As discussed recently on The 9513, with the new Blake Shelton release, Warner Bros. Nashville has unveiled the “SixPak”, an album containing six rather than the usual 10 or 12 tracks. In other words, an EP, but don’t let them hear you say that. Curb Records recently announced a similar strategy for Jo Dee Messina’s oft-delayed upcoming album, which will now reportedly contain seven new tracks and two live versions of older hits, to be folllowed by one or two more EPs later in the year. Apparently the hope is that fans, new and old alike, will be less resistant to buying a shortened album at a reduced price.

I’m skeptical of this strategy’s prospects for success. For one thing, it seems to be targeting the wrong market segment — the one that still buys music on CDs, and would probably prefer to have more and not less music on each disc, as the Universal strategy apparently recognizes. I’m sure Jo Dee Messina’s fans will be happy to see any new music from her at all and will buy the EP, but in all likelihood these are the same fans who would have purchased a full-length album. I don’t see how music buyers who are only interested in the radio hits will be persuaded to forgo the individual downloads in favor of buying a set of 6 or 7 songs. The music industry seems intent on trying to sell to this segment of the market something it apparently does not want — albums.
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