Monday, December 20, 2010

Who Says They Don't Buy Records Anymore?

Here’s a trend that I’ve noticed lately – concert ticket prices go up and the promoters blame it on the lack of CD sales. Record company executives no longer offer big money recording contracts because they claim that music doesn’t sell. Magazines are plastered with interviews stating that profitable music is dead. Music executives are endlessly announcing that nobody buys music anymore; all they do is steal it online.

Here are some facts to counter those thoughts:

Eminem’s Recovery has sold more than 2 million records in 2010 (that includes downloads of the full album and physical CDs purchased).

Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now has also sold over 2 million copies.

Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 has sold 1.6 million copies.

Taylor Swift’s Speak Now sold over 1 million copies in its first week of release.

Sade’s Soldier of Love has gone over the 1 million mark (which surprises the hell out of me).

Susan Boyle’s The Gift has sold over 500,000 copies.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Scream has sold close to 200,000 copies.

Lady Gaga’s The Fame has sold 1.3 million copies this year. Keep in mind this album came out in 2009.

21 records have gone gold in 2010 (selling over 500,000 copies). 6 albums have gone platinum (selling over 1,000,000 copies).

To the greedy music executives who are used to calling all the shots, I say this: “The game has changed!” People have a vast array of choices and ways they can hear new music now. Back in the day, you got on radio (or MTV), had a hit, and your record sold. It no longer works that way, but it doesn’t mean that people aren’t buying records.

Out of the top 100 best selling albums of 2010, I have never heard of 20 of them (and I am someone who writes about music on a regular basis). Records can be discovered through a vast array of choices now. And with more choices comes more options. Not everybody is buying the CD that the DJ on the radio tells them to buy. People are forming their own opinion on everything they hear. And while there may not be as many runaway hit bands going platinum, overall record sales are still strong.

Now I won’t be na├»ve and say that no one is stealing music, because that would be foolish. I know there are plenty of people who illegally download music and there are some people that have hard drives and hard drives full of illegally gotten music. But, yes, there are those who still actually pay for their music. There are people who still obtain their music legally (this author included). The music executives will continue to whine, because they are never going to make money like they did in the 80s and 90s. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Maybe now, we can get a reasonable price on a new release. Maybe one day, all CDs will be $5 - $8 each. Think how much my collection would grow then.

Comments are open. Feel free to post some.


Anonymous said...

Your numbers appear to be for USA only, but even so, Boyle's 'The Gift' has sold 1.43 million in the first 5 weeks in USA and has been awarded Double Platinum (based on shipped CDs). Not too shabby for a holiday album!

Ryo Vie said...

1.43 Million! See? And no one stole it? People didn't just opt to grab it online illegally? Hmmmm. I wonder what the record companies say about that? People DO buy music.