As a follow up to to my bit on 8-tracks versus digital sales, following is a remarkable history of recorded music from 1973-2010 that will make any music exec’s stomach churn just a little more. The data really hit me like a ton of bricks after visiting a friend of mine who works at one of the few remaining music labels. I was struck by a few things that weren’t altogether positive. 1) What on earth do all those people working at a label actually DO? 2) When will the grim reaper arrive? I sensed a strange tension as the super-cool-chic music folks tried to hide their fear that a gaunt rich dude in jeans and a black mock turtleneck sweater was coming to slay them. 3) Where do old school music execs end up when their shift is done? I mean these guys in their day partied. Where do they end up now that the glory days are long gone?
Anyways, check out the happy times in 1998 versus the dreary days of 2010 in the album sales. And then have a look at the singles trends. It is breathtaking!