Music Industry Blames Sales Decline On Weak Pop Music

A 12% drop in UK entertainment sales has been partly blamed on a "weak" lineup of mainstream music.

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Music industry figures have blamed a weak lineup of mainstream releases for a recent drop in UK music sales.

The sales decline comes after the industry praised a measly 0.3% rise in global music revenue, which was widely seen as an exciting improvement on the 13 years of losses that preceded it.

Newly published figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association yearbook (via Billboard) reveal a 12% drop in total entertainment sales, which bundles music, video and game sales over the last year. 2012 music sales fell from £1.07 billion ($1.6 billion) to £1.01 billion ($1.51 billion) in 2012, demonstrating a massive decline compared to the 0.3% global revenue growth.

Industry observers blame the decline on a weak lineup of music releases and "structural changes" in the music industry, which include the sale and merger of major labels.

"2012 suffered from a weak schedule across all entertainment formats. It was a particular blow to specialist entertainment retailers who are reliant on the quality of the product they are delivered," said ERA director Kim Bayley.

Only one British artist, Emeli Sande, sold more than one million units in 2012.

Digital sales aren't doing so bad; music downloads in the UK went up by 15.1% during the same period.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Insanity ninja
    Because mainstream music is utterly crap right now, what do they expect?
    Crofty89
    It is utterly crap, but that doesn't seem to stop huge, ridiculously devoted fanbases from forming, like for Beiber, One Direction or Lady Gaga (I know, cliched examples, but they are the largest mainstream pop fanbases I can think of). It is however good that the industry are realising that they are promoting mediocrity.
    PirateMuffinDan
    This. They're promoting an image, as if they think it's some advertisement technique. And in the process they desensitize music. Hopefully they go down in the flames they kindled long ago. The market for music is massive and saturated more than ever, they can't rely on mediocre iconic images anymore.
    ozzyman45
    These major labels just can't put out good music. I saw it happen with "I'm Sexy and I Know It" as well as "Gangnam Style", they just become played out. But with rock music, songs stick. They never get old. No matter how old the song may be, devoted fans are still willing to listen to it.
    Kueller917
    I wouldn't go that far. The 80s was a pretty good example on how rock (or at least guitar-based music) could get oversaturated. Things just kinda move fast now anyways. There's internet trends that last a couple of days and then are forgotten. Manufactured pop scenes need to milk as much as they can in their short fame period.
    robo37
    I liked the 80s, it gave birth to some experimental material from the likes of The Cure, Coil and NIN, there's probably some bias in that given that they're 3 of my favourite bands but nonetheless having access to new sounds meant that they could push boundaries a little. As for 80s mainstream music, I don't know, or frankly care.
    Kueller917
    Well of course I'm not saying it was all bad. NIN are one of my favorites too (really can't wait for them to have a concert around here). But then there's a lot of bands I love that were born in the 00s. Of course every era will bring some great stuff I was just pointing out that the 80s had guitar in the mainstream, and the effects turned it rather bland just like what has happened with more electronic stuff as of late (or hip-hop a few years earlier).
    Absurder22
    Wat. We're talking about commercial music. Coil is about the farthest from commercial I can think.
    Alcofuel
    I doubt it's that. Considering bullshit has always been popular. Maybe instead of trying to blame the people they sign they should look for an actual answer. Just a thought.
    NewModelNos15
    HA! Music industry, we've been waiting to hear you say this since Napster. Let the healing begin...
    xonty
    Probably because almost nobody is buying CDs anymore Only a small majority are buying the singles, and the rest are being illegally downloaded
    PirateMuffinDan
    That's where we metal-ers and prog-ers (or at least me) come into play and buy massive loads of full length concept albums without ever even hearing a sample. People who are passionate and cathect to their favorite music are more likely to buy the whole thing, rather than be brainwashed by radio singles. But respect for the hardcore pop fans that actually buy full albums, decide for themselves what they want to buy, and connect to their music instead of being brainwashed.
    cptcomet
    If it's due to weak pop acts, then why do they pour all their money into them?! With the millions that they pour into shit acts, they don't realise they could give a decent unsigned rock band ten grand and they would turn out something much better.
    Rattlehead_97
    Although I'm not a fan of pop music, back in the day there were quality pop artist who can really sing like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney etc. Today's pop music are all autotune stuff and their appearance and music only appeal for teenager. MTV isnt even Music television anymore.
    dutabura
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