Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Looking Back at New Years Predictions

The internet is an amazing place. You post stuff, and it just never goes away. Pretty soon Google will need to add a category to remove all web pages over a few months's old - there is just too much "stuff" out there.

In poking around tonight I found an article I wrote on my blog back in January 2008 - 2 1/2 years ago, simply ancient news. I made some predictions: how did I do?
Pretty good! - except for the last one, where I predicted that jazz album sales would increase percentage-wise compared to the industry as a whole. Instead, the sales are dropping faster. Oh wel - the rest are pretty right on:
From January, 2008:
- The few remaining stand-alone music stores (Virgin, FYE, etc.) will close in the next 24 months. The few left standing will mainly sell fashion and "lifestyle" products, or become like Amoeba Records, catering to used CDs and collectors.
(This has pretty much happened)

- As attention spans grow shorter over the next 5 years, the concept of an "album" will gradually vanish, except for compilations, greatest hits packages and TV or movie soundtracks. These will succeed by pricing themselves low enough for people to see the value of the purchase, vs. 99 cent single-downloads.
(Certainly album sales have dropped dramatically, compared to downloaded singles...)

- By 2010 all the major labels will throw in the towel re: DRM (digital rights management). Ease of purchasing music online and competitve pricing (i.e., cheaper, but not totally "free") will offset the losing battle to stop people from copying digital music.
(Well, Apple started DRM-free downloads in 2009, as did Amazon and most other internet sites)

- By 2010 the major entertainment companies will view music as an "ancillary product" that is there to promote a movie or a line of clothing. Even major artists will start to view albums as little more than advertisements for more-lucrative goods like concert tickets and T-shirts.
(Miley Cyrus jeans, anyone?)

- Barring a couple of breakout artists, Jazz music will continue to be a niche market, but album sales will increase, as it becomes one of the few music forms that still holds up in an album format.
(Oops, wishful thinking...)