Rap Coalition

A HOW-TO RESOURCE FOR RAP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & DJs. Since knowledge is power, here is your best defense to succeed in the urban music industry...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This a little insight on CD sales from Allen Johnston
You can check out his site at:http://www.asha.com/


I am old enough to remember the BANDS of yesterday that sold DIAMOND (10,000,000) units and had 1.5 to 2 million selling weeks. The consensus today is that the Internet killed these sales, I say DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!

Let's look at some realities,

Over 30 MILLION people a week watch American Idol; the winner has an almost immediate single release followed by a rushed album. With the hype and marketing surrounding these American Idol winners you would imagine that they could sell 10's of Millions of albums. This is completely not the case. A great selling American idol winner is lucky if they move approximately 2 Million units worldwide. It seems that the public wants something different and sales have dropped significantly. They're never coming back

Based on the 2006 RIAA shipment figures the music business is shipping and selling less than they did in 1996 BEFORE the CD explosion that occurred in 1999, 2000 & 2001. Nay sayers suggest that the digital download business is making up for the loss in CD sales, however the digital business only makes up less than 7% of the total music sales.

In 2006, the best-selling rap album was T.I.'s "King," which sold 1.6 million copies, while the best-selling R&B album was Beyoncé's "B'Day," which moved 1.8 million units. But those are exceptions. Between eroding profits and the shorter life span, most labels no longer push a second single from a rap project.

R&B and rap suffered the biggest declines in 2006 of all styles of music tracked by Nielsen SoundScan. Since 2000, R&B and rap's Nielsen SoundScan numbers have dipped more than any other genre. Other genres have shrunk in sales since 2000, but those musical styles aren't falling as fast as overall U.S. album sales.

What do you do now if you want to be in the music business?

There is no longer a mainstream music buying public. Crossing over means more about your death than it does about hearing music on different formatted stations. You can't get a job at a major record label because they are firing their departments (consolidation) while they have difficulty paying their bills. Major management companies are going broke while they try and find promoters that want to book nondescript boring acts. I investigated Pollstar to see what the top selling concerts were, what I found was enlightening. Out of the Top 50 concerts touring today Beyonce was number 24 and there was not another Black act and absolutely no Hip Hop acts.

The record business created a formula for promoting and marketing music, this formula no longer works. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote a song is not a good business proposition. Especially since anyone can make a song at home and place it on MySpace.

The major label formula is to create a single, push it and sell the album for profit. Today the consumer wants a good track and a steady stream of good tracks to follow. First and foremost, STEADY! If you're not constantly releasing new good stuff, your audience moves on to something else. And unlike in the seventies, there's TONS of other stuff easily available. Don't put out an album for three years today and most people have FORGOTTEN YOU! Second, the album is irrelevant to most listeners. People focus on song quality as opposed to quantity. Remember the term Album Filler?

People have choice. And they're hard to reach. They want something that is familiar. You've got to get the music into people's hands, oftentimes initially for free. You can't push it, people have to pull it. Which means it can't be sold on hype, but quality And when you get an audience, you have to build slowly, you've got no choice. To try and take a short cut, to sign with a major and be the beneficiary of all their marketing, NO LONGER WORKS! The major can't blow up your indie act, there's nowhere to do it!

Two years ago I had a meeting with a Florida label. At this meeting I told them that the best way to establish themselves was to create good music and a company first so that a major label would take them seriously. The owner of the label told me that he didn't have time for any of that and he wanted to just "jump over that stuff and go straight to the label deal". I wouldn't help them and today they are out of business. No deal, No records Sold nothin.


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