Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Has iTunes Killed The CD Business?

I have been reading a lot lately about the slide in sales of CDs and have some observations and comments.  In my opinion, the decline in sales of CDs is directly related to the success and growth of iTunes.  In addition,  the music industry was not able to develop "out of the box" thinking and was content to stay within the status quo position they have embraced for the last 25 years or more.  However,  the music industry could have seen this change coming if they had bothered to ask the CD buying public this question: "If you could buy just those songs on a CD that you really liked instead of buying all the songs, what would you choose?".  I think it is pretty clear that the public's answer would be to buy only the songs that they loved and avoid any songs that were just OK. So it is not a surprise to read that artists today are putting out CDs that don't appear high on the charts while at the same time, a few of the songs on the same CD are hitting the top of the charts.  What does this trend mean for today's recording artists?  My guess is that it is not the end of the world for these talented musicians just a different world.  These artists need to create the best personal web sites available to attract customers who may have heard one of their songs, love it and want to see what other work the artist has done.  So the focus turns away from individual preselected CD to the entire body of work an artist has produced. The customer, in effect, will then create their own CD from the artist's body of work.  I think this is a good thing for the customer and the artist. Over the long run, the artist should be able to develop a strong loyal customer following and also will be rewarded for the development of his or her best work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rdio VS iTunes, Will It Just Be No Contest?

I have never subscribed to a monthly online music service because I am a big fan of iTunes.  However I wanted to alert you that there is a new monthly online music service, Rdio, that wants you to pay a monthly fee of $9.99 to access their music catalogue.  I read about this new music service in an article that was written by Allen Hoffman in the business section of THE STAR LEDGER on August 13, 2010.  According to the article, Rdio believes that it can succeed because of the ease of using their catalogue that contains over 7 million songs from major labels. It appears that Rdio is a mix of a music site and a social site.  Rdio allows you to create your own playlists just like iTunes but also will encourage  interaction and sharing of playlists with other Rdio subscribers.  An interesting concept, but at this point I can't see this business taking off.   If the music public continues to turn away from stealing music from online sites, then this would help Rdio get subscribers.  The major problem I would have with Rdio is that they will be controlling all of your favorites and play lists that we have spend many hours collecting and developing.  If you had this subscription for a couple of years and then decided to drop it, you would lose access to all your musical creations. But this is just my feeling, the younger generation does not seem to put a value on owning their favorite songs as long as they have access to them.  I also have to admit that I never thought I would enjoy sharing comments about music on a public blog with unknown people, but here I am.  So I will watch the progress of Rdio with an open mind and wish them the best. If any readers have any comments about this topic, please share them with me.    

CD Review: Clairdee Releases Her Forth CD, "A Love Letter to Lina"

San Francisco based Vocalist Clairdee has admired and been a fan of Lena Horne since she was four years old.  Clairdee was not just in...