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article imageOp-Ed: Streaming music will not save the music industry... in some ways

By Ryan Hite     Jun 15, 2014 in Music
London - Music streaming may appear to save the industry and bring a lot of artists to the public realm that may have not had a chance, but it turns out that people still go for the biggest and the best of the industry.
Perhaps the most telling comment on the end year music sales figures for 2013, which reporting a slight decline on the previous year, came from Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retail Association. She said that "Music's performance is primarily due to a weak release schedule," and that "Retailers will be hoping that labels deliver bigger hits in 2014."
It doesn't matter that the internet has given loads more artists the opportunity to reach an audience, the survival of the record industry is as reliant on hits today as it's ever been.
A closer look at the top 10 albums of 2013 in the UK and the US illustrates this hit reliance, which is that the top three albums are compilations.
Understandably, record label trade organisation tries to put a positive spin on the state of the music industry.
Many of the top music tracks of today are pop or rap genre music, with a group of a couple dozen vying for the top. The music industry is a lot like the direction that the writing industry has come. There are very few major record labels with a group of the "top artists" and a huge group of independent artists and record labels at the bottom. Although music streaming has allowed artists to gain exposure, but people still prefer those who are at the top...
Is delivering more hits the only recipe for growth? Not a single artist in the top 10 singles chart of 2013 managed to reach the top 10 in the albums chart last year. Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, and Avicii, for example, may have delivered the top three singles, but those singles were not enough to sell their albums to as big an audience.
Not a single album in the top 10 was released by an independent label.
The Wall Street Journal reports that data it reviewed showed that one major record company makes more per year, on average, from paying customers of streaming services such as Spotify, than it does from the average customer who buys and downloads CDs. This data appears to only apply to the US, but can be applied around the world as well.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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