We’re starting to wonder if the music industry is unknowingly sabotaging itself by trying to stay trendy on the web. Years ago when you couldn’t listen to artists’ songs on YouTube or download songs as singles online fans were forced to go to the store and buy an entire album – even if they only wanted three tracks off of it.
Fast-forward to today when Republic Records executive Avery Lipman told the press he is upset about Austin Mahone’s “The Secret” EP album sales:
The kid can close down any mall in America, but we are struggling to sell a meaningful amount of records. It sounds good, looks good; goes right in the weeds.
Whenever artists release an album they release a music video for the most popular track before the CD is even for sale. Then, as the CD arrives a second single is released to radio and the web.
Plus, many artists put their entire album on YouTube for fans to listen to before the CD arrives. This is what Lucy Hale did with her debut country album “Road Between.”
Listen to Lucy’s entire “Road Between” album below, for free!
The problem with making songs and music videos so accessible is that while the record labels are making money off of YouTube video play ads, it is no comparison to the cash they would bring in with album sales.
By making the songs so available for fans they are losing thousands of album sales with each CD they put out. While they may spend less money promoting the albums, since online advertising is a fraction of how much they used to spend to promote CDs on TV or in magazines, they are still losing out on CD sales, and therefore many artists aren’t given the chance to put out multiple albums as quickly as they may like, and the artists are also losing out on making big bucks from their CDs.
It looks to us that while trying to remain trendy online the music industry is hurting its own sales. What do you think?