Record Industry


Record Industry Essay, Research Paper

Time For More On The CD

The music business is experiencing a recession where record sales are

reaching all-time lows. All record companies have in the last few years

experienced a considerable decrease in sales. Finding the cause or

causes of this has naturally become a major concern for all of them.

Some blame the recession in the West in general, but that can hardly

explain why one industry is losing out so much more than others.

Music today is less from the heart than it used to be only ten years

ago. It is mostly a purely commercial product to be used up and thrown

away. A lot of modern music has a short but intense life span. People

are not prepared to pay as much for a ‘disposable’ product as they are

for a ‘reusable’. The hit song of the week is fed to us all through

radio and TV so intensely that we need not buy the record. And when it

is no longer broadcasted no one remembers it.

Attempts to change this and promote more quality, depth and

originality in music have not been very successful. The whole

entertainment business is ruled by trends and, quality seems to have

gone out of style

To simply lower the price of a CD is a commonly suggested solution,

naturally advocated by the buyers. But no business favors such a remedy.

Not only since it reduces their income but also because it sends out the

wrong signals to people. It gives the impression that the product is

worth less and that the customers have been charged too much before. And

if the price can drop by ten per cent this year people might expect it

to drop another ten per cent next year.

A better settlement could be enhancing the product and giving people

more for their money. Thanks to modern technology there can be so much

more included on a CD than just music. A computer with a CD-ROM drive,

which is becoming quite common, allows us to read several different

kinds of information off a CD. A short interview with the artist or

‘behind the scenes’ features can be included as so called ‘Quicktime

movies’. Lyric sheets, discographies, extensive biographies and even

sheet music can also be added easily. Text files have such small memory

requirements compared to sound that the Bible can be stored in less

space than a normal length song! There have already been several CDs

released which include a lot of this, maybe it is time to make it a

standard feature.

Since the Internet is also becoming more available to the public

several artists have got their own homepage with news and up to date

information. These homepages could be elaborated considerably and come

to include games and interactive programs. Such programs may let you

make your own mix of your favorite song and you could also download

sound samples, or MIDI files which will play on a keyboard plugged into

your computer.

The most interesting parts of these homepages could be made available

to ‘fans only’. To access it you would need an application program or

hard disk authorization available only on the CD. If the customers start

visiting the home page more frequently the record companies also have an

excellent opportunity to market miscellaneous merchandise and even other

artists. That would be extremely desirable in times of a decreasing


If people feel they are paying too much for a CD and the price cannot

be lowered there is only one solution: the product must be enhanced! In

order for record companies to survive into the next century it is time

for them to evolve.

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