Quit thinking your spaceship knows which way to go. You have a big problem. CD sales are down. Way down. CDs that are currently tracking at Number One on the charts are selling 30,000 copies a week or fewer. Five-hundred thousand to 600,000 sold per week used to be normal for a CD in that top slot.
Downloads from services like iTunes are healthy, but not enough to offset the auger-in of CD sales. Meanwhile, one billion songs per month are traded on illegal file-sharing networks. And the RIAA Keystone-Cop their way through the problem by suing people they, through obscene luck, manage to catch. But for every one they sue, there are hundreds more they’ll never catch. And those numbers grow each day.
Wal-Mart, Best Buy and the others are making less floor space available for music. Specialty music retailers, like this one here in Louisville, have added boutique items to their inventory to balance out the drop in music sales, and have also become outlets for used CDs. Musicians like this young man, this hard-working band, and these zany lovelies all go (for the most part) direct to the audience with their work.
So, music industry, what’s your plan?
Maybe it’s time to fold the tent and close the show.