According to CNET news, “U.S. album sales for the first six months of the year grew 1 percent.” This is the first upswing the industry has seen since 2004. I know it’s only one percent, but I find this to be quite encouraging.
Most of my positive feelings stem from the way that music now being shared and purchased. I think it was around 2004 when I somewhat stopped buying music. There was, what i would call, too much noise in the regular channels. I was bored with KROQ, who still had Sublime’s ‘What I Got’ in regular rotation and MySpace seemed like an over saturated swamp. I tuned out.
Slowly, the tools have increased for P2P sharing on major platforms rather than hidden file transfers. Facebook and Twitter have been no small part of this. They allow you to link to official channels and pages that have the music you want to share. But rather than a marketing email or spammercial, I am getting my recommendations from people I actually want recommendations from. When Dave Holmes tweets a mix, I’m gonna check it out because I respect his taste in music. When a friend on FB posts her new song, I feel like she offered to me in the stream, rather than pushing into my face.
I am buying more music now. I’m participating in the 1% upswing. Of course I always try to get my money to the artist by the most direct means, and I’m not sure how the Nielsen SoundScan report took into account independent record sales. But, I’m buying it. I love music and I want there to be a way for musicians to make money.
One a side note, I’m also super encouraged by the music video world these days. A recent fave is Steve Shane’s ‘Every Pretty Smile’ which was fan funded through a micro-financing site.