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Is the Album Dead? 7 Reasons Music Insiders Think So |

Is the Album Dead? 7 Reasons Music Insiders Think So |

Is the Album Dead? 7 Reasons Music Insiders Think So |
September 24
08:37 2017

Is the album dead?

With sales at an all-time low and Fergie trying to mount a comeback with a visual album experience similar to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” while major pop rock act One Republic announced earlier this year they’re only churning out singles from now on, TooFab turned to a variety of music biz experts to weigh in on that question, and the answer was unanimously, “Yes.””I just don’t think consumers care about the album anymore,” Evan Lipschutz, vice president of A&R at Warner/Chappell Music, told TooFab. “I think [artists] are making visual albums when they want to do something truly artistic versus just make songs for quick consumption. I think that’s more of a way to set music apart so people actually buy it.”Why Nicki Is the Music Biz’s Reigning Queen of Collaborations: 76 and CountingView StoryIt remains to be seen if Fergie’s fans will gobble up Friday’s new release, “Double Dutchess: Seeing Double,” the way Beyoncé fans did “Lemonade,” but Lipschutz and two other industry insiders have seen enough evidence to declare the album, as we’ve known it, is a dying product. Here are seven reasons why.StreamingJeremy Skaller, who produced Jay Sean’s No. 1 hit “Down” and is also a manager at The Heavy Group, cites technology as a major factor behind the death of the LP. Thanks to Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and the dozens of other streaming services available, consumers don’t have to commit to buying an entire album to hear the tracks that strike their curiosity.”The overall culture of music consumption has shifted because of technology,” he told TooFab. “Now, you can jump from thing to thing much easier. You can have more options, more resources, more ability to stream, less need to have to buy things right away. So consumers don’t have to be committed to any one thing, such as an album.”Apple’s iPodEric Alper, a veteran music publicist who’s worked with Ringo Starr of The Beatles and Sinéad O’Connor, told TooFab the release of the Apple iPod in 2001 forever changed the game.”The iPod allowed people to listen to what they wanted, when they wanted, whenever they wanted,” he explained. “That allowed people to forgo all of the filler of the albums that they didn’t want.”As much as bitter artists and fans point their fingers at streaming platforms for killing album sales, Alper pointed out it was the iPod that began the massive shift toward singles.”For the same reason that the iPod succeeded and thrived, streaming services like Spotify and Pandora and Google Play and Apple Music are thriving now. This generation doesn’t know or completely understand the concept of the album,” he said. “They have no interest in listening to things that they don’t know.”Pharrell Williams Was On His ‘Jon Snow Sh-t’ at VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors: ‘The Enemy Is This Decisive Mentality’View StoryThe ’90sLipschutz — a record label executive who has been in the business so long he developed Good Charlotte in 1996 and has worked with major labels Sony, Island Records and Atlantic Records — told TooFab “people just aren’t buying albums,” and he suspects that could be a reaction to having to suffer through a lot of bad albums two decades ago.”A lot of times, there would be one or two killer singles on an album and then a bunch of junk,” he said.”People were spending 25 bucks for a CD and being really disenfranchised by it,” Lipschutz explained. “The singles market is definitely a reaction to that lack of quality music at a really high price point. Right now, you could buy a song for .69 or .99 cents or stream it for 10 bucks a month, and you get what you want when you want it. It’s also the immediacy of it, too. If a song comes out on Friday, you want to listen to it on Friday, and you can.”Album’s Can’t Match the Public’s Appetite for Immediate ConsumptionAccording to Lipschutz, “Music consumption is basically happening via a streaming model at this point and the consumption rate happens so much faster, so [the industry] has to keep feeding the fan base with music. This goes back to the original model of putting out an album every 18 months. Fan bases are already off to the next thing by then, so you have to keep feeding the machine.””The same thing is happening with TV,” he added. “You can binge-watch a Netflix series in a weekend, and then you’re like, ‘Alright, now what?'”Skaller said today’s generation of music consumers has become “platform agnostic.””Which means you’re gonna be more malleable, so jumping from artist to artist can be done very easily now,” the producer told TooFab. “If they get stuck with a full album, three or four songs in, they’re going, ‘OK, what’s next?’ And because they have the option to figure out what’s next with the click of their finger on a screen, they can do that.”Songs Can Be Produced Faster, Cheaper and More Easily Than Ever BeforeLipschutz told TooFab that the declining cost of recording equipment has also played a huge factor in the shift of music output.

Source: Is the Album Dead? 7 Reasons Music Insiders Think So |

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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