It’s been in the news recently that record music retailers are moaning about all the big albums coming out in the Autumn or early December. To me that has always been the case even when I worked in music. The summer months seemed to drag on with very few major releases. In fact the other things which seemed to sell was the tunes that were big in the nightclubs in some foreign holiday destination or a Black Lace record.
Most sales have always been in the lead up to Christmas, this was when people went out and bought everyone a record as a present. Major labels would release the first single from such albums by September at the latest and the album would proceed by October. Today though it seems the single is released and the album followed the very next week. That doesn’t seem good marketing to me. Then in the lead up to Christmas itself the next single would be released to enable a second hit and improved sales of the linked album.
Springtime too used to be another time albums would be released after the January sales and the usual ‘The Public has no money after Christmas’ period. You would get the fans of the artist rushing to buy it propelling it into the charts. This may generate a few more sales just because it reached a certain chart position. Then with a lengthy tour either started or will commence for the record during the year they would again push the album in the Autumn with TV advertisement campaign.
Now with digital downloads we can have any track whenever and only the purists it seems hanker for that physical item be it vinyl still hanging in there or CD. I must admit I’m the latter you just can’t beat the real thing. The retailers have moaned about 2012 being one of the weakest first six months. Could it be actually the product isn’t that appealing to the public? For me the best releases so far have been artists under the mainstream radar. In reality people just have more things to spend what little spare money they have nowadays too.
Gone are the days of labels investing heavily in an artist nurturing them and creating a career for them. It’s now let’s make as much money as quick as possible and blow the quality content. Bands like U2, Queen and Genesis who still have healthy sales I doubt would have survived the cut-throat nature of labels theses days. Maybe the whole industry wants to look at itself from the inside. There is definitely the talent out there but the industry is no longer run by music fans but by city investors.