MTV is reporting that numbers-wise, the worst 12-month period the music industry has ever seen. Every subsequent year since 2000 has seen CD sales drop, and the decline from 2006 to 2007 was 15%. Ouch.
Here are possible (or probable) causes:
• Mainstream music sucks. Sure, the Billboard pop charts have been dominated by shitty artists for 50-plus years, but there has almost always been at least one or two worthy bands to bust through the clutter and prevent the music industry from being a complete wasteland. Has anyone done that lately?
• The Demise of Rock ‘n’ Roll. This ties in directly to the previous point. Sure, there’s still a sizable percentage of popular bands that could be classified as “rock”, but when was the last time a new rock group came along and turned music fandom on it’s collective ear? Where are the revolutionaries, the rebels, the ones who break new ground and spit in the face of convention? Where are the juggernauts who change the course of the industry? What has it been, 15 years since rock music has given us something different with Nirvana and the alternative movement?
Sadly, as a fan of rock music of all decades, I feel that the genre is slowly whimpering out. And what does that leave us with? Hip-hop, flacid pop bands and teeny-bopper bubble-gum dreck.
• There’s simply too many other diversions to care about new music. Kids today have an overabundance of things that directly compete with their disposable income and their time. There are a thousand different things to do on the Internet. There are gaming consoles, 500 channels on Satellite TV, DVDs, cell phones, and which all take up time and/or money. There are mp3 players that require music, of course, but I’d venture to guess that half of what is put on them is illegally downloaded.
• The outlets that once promoted new music are less influencial and more repetitious. Who wants to listen to top 40 radio stations when they play the same crappy 8 or 9 songs over and over? Even oldies and classic rock stations play the same 100-150 tracks, leaving out long-forgotten, rarely-played gems that might spark my interest and influence me to buy a CD of an older band. I’d rather listen to an mp3 player hooked up to my car’s stereo pumping out songs I already own.
MTV (the ones who published this article – can’t you see the irony?) had stopped being a music channel years ago.
I remember being a kid in the ’80s watching MTV all day long. In addition to catching all my favorite new videos, I would always want to catch whatever older groups they’d occasionally throw in there. More exposre to different artists equates to more potential purchases of music.