Google+ Q Dot: Why has no album gone platinum this year?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why has no album gone platinum this year?

So no album other than the Frozen soundtrack has gone platinum this year. I'm not surprised.

It also doesn't surprise me as to why this is and it has nothing to do with the music of this generation being bad or people just not buying music anymore.

It has to do with consumers vs customers and the culture around it. 

People don't want to own music anymore they want access to all of it. Spotify subscribers have risen at a rapid pace since launching. Youtube is still the #1 music search engine in the world and platforms like Pandora, Soundcloud, rdio and iheart radio only add to the plethora of options to consume and not own.

15 years ago Napster was cementing itself as the boogie man to the music business but just a few years before that, the music business was in the middle of a golden era of churning out platinum record after platinum record. Why? Because when your options are limited to how you can obtain music that's just how ya get it. Ya had to get your butt down to the record store and buy it.

Also contributing to this is that more bands than ever are touring. 10 years ago the number of independent touring bands was nothing like it is today and when you tour you sell your merch direct to fans including CDs...that said I wouldn't be surprised if there was a touring act who's sold a million on the road it's just that even though there is a mechanism that will track sales at shows through soundscan most artists don't use it.

How do we fix this? We don't. We change our stance on what the music business is and what it will be going forward. The old business model is out - the name of the game is consumption and he or she who can make the consuming audience consume more of their brand will win. Music business fundamentals will win out where deep pockets can't: strong touring, consistent growth and visibility in your touring markets and a strong online presence will sustain careers. New media platforms like Internet radio will play as discovery tools and the new superstar musicians will be equal parts marketing expert, content creator and brand manager as they are musician.