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AHBAMember
02-27-2015, 05:06 PM
...for when we're disappointed that Garth and Trisha aren't doing as well as we think they should:

...according to the Recording Industry Association of America, approximately 90 percent of all new artists signed to major labels do not become successful. In fact, five out of six albums released in the U.S. sell fewer than a thousand copies.

From This Business of Songwriting, by Jason Blume.

Skywise
02-27-2015, 07:16 PM
Well, the quote is from a book that's almost 9 years old, so things COULD have changed but its' a telling quote still. don't know I'd have to read the entire book...

The whole quote is "while is is certainly appropriate to hope and aim to have songs recorded by established acts, in actuality this is a goal many songwriters may never attain. While it is by no means easy to secure recordings with unknown artists, it is undoubtedly easier than having songs recorded by well known celebrities. The downside to having songs recorded by new acts is that according to the Recording Industry Association of America, approximately 90 percent of all new artists signed to major labels do not become successful. In fact, five out of six albums released in the U.S. sell fewer than a thousand copies. "

So, (at least as I'm reading it) the quotes' not really dealing with established acts, or those who have burnt bright then walked away, or those who are using (and then not using) or not using the major outlet for digital music, etc.. The article (as I'm reading it) is a warning against pitching your songs as a SONGWRITER to a new act...

the question would be WHY do 5/6 albums released sell fewer than a thousand copies? and how is that broken up by genre?

AHBAMember
02-27-2015, 07:39 PM
Well, the quote is from a book that's almost 9 years old, so things COULD have changed but its' a telling quote still. don't know I'd have to read the entire book...

The whole quote is "while is is certainly appropriate to hope and aim to have songs recorded by established acts, in actuality this is a goal many songwriters may never attain. While it is by no means easy to secure recordings with unknown artists, it is undoubtedly easier than having songs recorded by well known celebrities. The downside to having songs recorded by new acts is that according to the Recording Industry Association of America, approximately 90 percent of all new artists signed to major labels do not become successful. In fact, five out of six albums released in the U.S. sell fewer than a thousand copies. "

So, (at least as I'm reading it) the quotes' not really dealing with established acts, or those who have burnt bright then walked away, or those who are using (and then not using) or not using the major outlet for digital music, etc.. The article (as I'm reading it) is a warning against pitching your songs as a SONGWRITER to a new act...

the question would be WHY do 5/6 albums released sell fewer than a thousand copies? and how is that broken up by genre?


I have a version that's about 1 1/2 years old (2013). And he does say "major labels."

Skywise
02-27-2015, 07:41 PM
could you give the entire quote from your version, then? for context?

garthcop
02-28-2015, 11:58 AM
I would say it's because people don't buy albums anymore. It's all Itunes. We are looking at the wrong indicator for an artist's success. The high school kids I teach keep asking me why the G-man isn't on itunes because they do not go out of their way to buy whole albums. Even if it's offered in digital form. They want singles.

AHBAMember
02-28-2015, 02:38 PM
could you give the entire quote from your version, then? for context?

It's pretty much the same as what was posted.

I agree about the difference in how music is bought.

Also, for us, particularly, Garth songs being in the top 30s or 20s is a let-down, because we're used to him debuting at #1, and other feats like that. (Didn't More Than a Memory do that as late as 2008 or 2009?)

Mr_Sevens
02-28-2015, 03:48 PM
It's pretty much the same as what was posted.

I agree about the difference in how music is bought.

Also, for us, particularly, Garth songs being in the top 30s or 20s is a let-down, because we're used to him debuting at #1, and other feats like that. (Didn't More Than a Memory do that as late as 2008 or 2009?)

More Than A Memory did debut at #1 in late 2007. The problem is that Billboard's Hot Country Chart has changed significantly since then. Now single sales a weighted more than radio play and since Garth doesn't sell singles his songs only rely on radio play.

Billboard does have a Country Airplay chart now but no one cares about it. It's not the main chart anymore.

AHBAMember
02-28-2015, 03:58 PM
The problems it causes for Garth notwithstanding, I don't think weighing single sales more than radio play is all bad.

Fans have more control of buying singles; radio play seems to be decided by a few people. (How do they know that the now-older singers won't be popular if they don't give fans a chance to hear them?)

I'd say commercial radio itself isn't as mainstream as it used to be, now that fans have so many other ways to hear music: itunes, SiriusXM, Pandora, social media, etc.

wimpy77
02-28-2015, 04:25 PM
The problems it causes for Garth notwithstanding, I don't think weighing single sales more than radio play is all bad.

Fans have more control of buying singles; radio play seems to be decided by a few people. (How do they know that the now-older singers won't be popular if they don't give fans a chance to hear them?)

I'd say commercial radio itself isn't as mainstream as it used to be, now that fans have so many other ways to hear music: itunes, SiriusXM, Pandora, social media, etc.

radio seems to to think Garth is nothing more than a legacy artist at this point. But if Garth wanted to be played on radio then he would make music that sounds like country radio. To be honest, I think we worry more about this stuff than he does at this point.

Skywise
02-28-2015, 07:12 PM
It's pretty much the same as what was posted. except for two things...

#1- 'pretty much the same' isn't the same... it is (can be) different.. sometimes a lot different..

#2- you didn't post the whole quote originally, and thus the context for what you quoted may be absent.

why not just put the whole quote up?


Also, for us, particularly, Garth songs being in the top 30s or 20s is a let-down, because we're used to him debuting at #1, and other feats like that. (Didn't More Than a Memory do that as late as 2008 or 2009?)
Ehh- I'd have agreed with this statement more in say the late 1990's-2001 timeframe, though I don't know if we've EVER been USED to Garth DEBUTING at #1. (as it's only happened once, with More than a Memory, happened in 2007). I do think that we're (as garth fans) a lot more used to him debuting higher and going up higher songwise, absolutely- him knocking the socks off of country radio is what WAS the norm, 20 years ago. unfort. times and buying practices have changed, and Garth's not totally adapting to the new way...

Skywise
02-28-2015, 07:13 PM
To be honest, I think we worry more about this stuff than he does at this point.

With some of the garth fan camp in mind, truer a statement may not have ever been said

Mr_Sevens
02-28-2015, 09:10 PM
With some of the garth fan camp in mind, truer a statement may not have ever been said

If there's one thing I've learned about visiting other music boards, this is just what fans do. Fans of every artist. I used to think Garth fans do it the most, but I'm not convinced anymore haha

AHBAMember
02-28-2015, 10:08 PM
I can't help wondering from how far away people are travelling to the concerts, and if Garth fans are unusual in this respect. Other acts have been known to have fans that follow them around...

Skywise
03-01-2015, 12:48 AM
good point, Sevens. it's not just garth fans, I'm certain- heck even casual perusal of various KISS fans' Facebook pages... would back you up on saying that.. (some of their comments are downright ridiculous actually)..


If there's one thing I've learned about visiting other music boards, this is just what fans do. Fans of every artist. I used to think Garth fans do it the most, but I'm not convinced anymore haha

Skywise
03-01-2015, 12:49 AM
I can't help wondering from how far away people are travelling to the concerts, and if Garth fans are unusual in this respect. Other acts have been known to have fans that follow them around...

well, don't know for certain but I know of at least one person who's come over from europe to attend shows on this tour..

Garth's def. got peeps that follow him around- I think some PG'ers have seen him so far in multiple cities on this tour alone

Lowland_Kid
03-01-2015, 03:00 AM
Oh yes, he does have fans following him around. Maybe not for ALL the shows, but still for multiple stops on this tour alone. So yes, I came from Switzerland to see him in Pittsburgh. While I was there, I met 2 Irish girls who were there and who had also been to the Chicago shows (don't know how many). And from my American Garth friends, I know at least 4 who have seen multiple shows in multiple cities. :) No, Garth fans are not unusual at all :D

Garthmedic
03-01-2015, 11:28 AM
Oh yes, he does have fans following him around. Maybe not for ALL the shows, but still for multiple stops on this tour alone. So yes, I came from Switzerland to see him in Pittsburgh. While I was there, I met 2 Irish girls who were there and who had also been to the Chicago shows (don't know how many). And from my American Garth friends, I know at least 4 who have seen multiple shows in multiple cities. :) No, Garth fans are not unusual at all :D

You and I also saw him in Las Vegas :)

Lowland_Kid
03-01-2015, 12:24 PM
Yes, we did. :D Had a GREAT time there too! :) And if I hadn't been to Pittsburgh already, I would have come to Portland!!

Mr_Sevens
03-01-2015, 03:30 PM
good point, Sevens. it's not just garth fans, I'm certain- heck even casual perusal of various KISS fans' Facebook pages... would back you up on saying that.. (some of their comments are downright ridiculous actually)..

It's really true! I'm positive I've read far crazier things from fans of other artists than anything I've read there.

As long as people can remember to just have fun and not take anything seriously, I say go nuts!

gbkubfan
03-02-2015, 11:25 AM
Raed this article on Billboard....

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6487521/country-music-commercial-radio-brandy-clark

MuchTooYoung
03-20-2015, 12:09 PM
Raed this article on Billboard....

http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6487521/country-music-commercial-radio-brandy-clark

My go-to reaction whenever this kind of thing comes up is, "What the hell is 'radio'?"

Radio used to be the third estate of the music industry; disc jockeys were kingmakers who were courted by artists and their labels alike. Remember those stories of young Johnny Cash personally delivering pressed singles to radio stations? (Such as the one in which he rebelled and threw a trunk full of Elvis's singles into a river, always a favorite Cash anecdote.) But in the 21st Century, who actually needs radio?

Listeners don't need radio; we can find artists through the web all on our own. Thanks to streaming services like Spotify, we can be our own DJ's, too. (I stopped using Spotify when I learned just how poorly they compensate artists versus how rich they've gotten on the backs of those same artists.

We don't need radio to be the industry critic of which songs are worthy of our attention, either. There was a time when radio listeners could be lured into staying tuned in because a DJ would play on-air calls to whip up debate. Blair Garner did this in his "Pick It or Flick It" segment for his AfterMidNite syndicated show, but it used to be far more prevalent. Even as early as fifteen years ago, radio stations in the Louisville market only played callers on-air if they were requesting one of the already-scheduled heavy rotation singles. It was kabuki theater meant to suggest to listeners that they were inundated with the top hits of that week because of some kind of grassroots demand for it. Total nonsense, of course, but the casual listener didn't give it any consideration beyond whether or not they wanted to hear that single again on their drive home from work.

The democratization of criticism online has also devalued the role that DJ's once had. There's no shortage of music sites, blogs, and forums where everyone from die-hard enthusiasts to run of the mill blowhards kick around what is, or isn't, worth a second listen. I don't think the industry knows what to do about this, because 1) it means that the reviewers already in their contacts list are no longer the only relevant voices out there and 2) unlike the endangered species of properly trained and compensated published music critics, the web doesn't necessarily produce individual kingmakers anymore.

Take Garth. Alanna Nash and Chet Flippo used to be among the names attached to reviews of Garth's latest single or album, published in any number of prolific magazines. But to my knowledge, Nash isn't a posting member here and Flippo passed away awhile back. We have stats to show which posters here comment the most frequently, but even that doesn't necessarily quantify how influential those members may be on the rest of us here. So if you're the marketing department at Sony, how do you court the amateur critics who have essentially taken over the product reviewing aspect of music journalism?

Artists aren't making their money off album sales, that's for sure, but they said that was true even back when album sales were great across the board in all genres. The real money has always been from touring and merchandise sales, and the royalties from a hit. Billboard incorporating single sales into their charts isn't just sensible; it's something they did way back when. There used to be separate charts for what radio reported playing and what stores reported selling. There was even at one point a chart that tracked jukebox plays. This isn't a bad thing for anyone involved - not the artists, not their labels, not radio, and not even us listeners/buyers. It's a more holistic assessment of the actual demand for any given single. I'm sure the formula could always stand to be tweaked, but the concept is solid.

This is where Garth is self-sabotaging and this is one area where his "Get off my lawn!" mentality doesn't track with the shrewdness he's typically demonstrated. I get why he wants us to still listen to albums and why he doesn't want to sacrifice that format by allowing digital buyers to cherry pick tracks. But how is there even a difference of semantics between excising a single from an album and asking radio to play it outside the context of the album, and allowing interested listeners the chance to pay to own those singles also outside of the album format? The only argument to be made is that those singles are the bait to get buyers to fork over their cash and take a risk on the album tracks. But because of how Billboard now calculates the performance of a single, this isn't just an artistic decision anymore. It's a commercial decision, too. He's made his fortune and he has the luxury of doing things however he wants to do them, but it's a pretty specious argument.

To be honest, I see talk radio overtaking the airwaves and music becoming an increasingly niche part of radio programming. It's easier for programmers to just hand over an hour of programming to a shock jock to rile up listeners than it is to apparently carve out the time necessary to even listen to the singles vying for their blessing. It's one big, fat stalemate in the makings and the only possible out that I see is for the conglomerates to give up buying out or crushing indie radio stations. Give us impassioned, knowledgeable DJ's who are empowered to try to spearhead grassroots followings and we might see some greater opportunities for artists to make worthwhile material and have it find an audience again. But, of course, radio doesn't give a tinker's damn about what's good for art or the industry; it cares only about its own bottom line, and that means doing anything necessary to quash any upstart indie stations that come along.

In mostly unrelated news, I'm okay with Garth's planned 2015 album being bumped to next year because we're definitely getting a new Melody Gardot album in June and that's the one album I've been looking forward to more than any other!

Skywise
03-20-2015, 12:17 PM
Melody Gardot? never heard of her


This is where Garth is self-sabotaging and this is one area where his "Get off my lawn!" mentality doesn't track with the shrewdness he's typically demonstrated. I get why he wants us to still listen to albums and why he doesn't want to sacrifice that format by allowing digital buyers to cherry pick tracks. But how is there even a difference of semantics between excising a single from an album and asking radio to play it outside the context of the album, and allowing interested listeners the chance to pay to own those singles also outside of the album format? The only argument to be made is that those singles are the bait to get buyers to fork over their cash and take a risk on the album tracks. But because of how Billboard now calculates the performance of a single, this isn't just an artistic decision anymore. It's a commercial decision, too. He's made his fortune and he has the luxury of doing things however he wants to do them, but it's a pretty specious argument.... GREAT statement here

MuchTooYoung
03-20-2015, 12:30 PM
Melody Gardot? never heard of her

I'm not surprised. She's a young woman from Philadelphia steeped in old school jazz. She's released just a few albums to date, writing or co-writing everything except a few covers of some standards. She's got a pretty dedicated following in Europe, South America, and parts of Asia, but she's been so ignored here in the U.S. that she abandoned even having a .com US website presence. I'm completely in love with her album My One and Only Thrill, which I still play all the way through on a regular basis almost six years after its release. (See, Garth? Album listening is still alive, even among artists who *do* allow their songs to be sold individually!) She won't scratch any itches you have for country music, but I'd certainly recommend looking into her biography and some of her music.

AHBAMember
03-20-2015, 02:43 PM
Radio used to be the third estate of the music industry; disc jockeys were kingmakers who were courted by artists and their labels alike.

And back when this was the case, I used to wonder why radio felt the need to play some artists a lot more than others "because they're what sells," because I felt like, "Well, you, as radio, could make anything sell if you played it."

But you're right...now, that is genuinely not the case. Fans have other ways to get music.

However, I have read that the writers of particular songs, the ones that ARE in the top few on radio can make huge amounts in royalties. That's from Blume's book too, but he still says it in the 2013 version.

I believe he actually says that recording artists aren't paid royalties for radio airplay...because it's free advertising to get people to buy the record.

When I was growing up in the 90s, the adults were talking about what a crime it was that Haggard, Jones, and the like weren't being played any more, and how no one new was as good and everyone on the radio was now the same. But looking back at the 90s now, it seems downright diverse and progressive.

New artists debuted older than age 30. There were more different artists, there were certainly more women, there were some women with, let's say... not the typical entertainment industry bodies. And you saw on CMT (and occasionally even heard on the radios) artists who weren't big on the radio.

The bottom line for us as Garth fans is that the numbers out there probably don't reflect the real number of people following him, if they aren't keeping good track of the digital sales. Same for Trisha, probably.

And while we've mentioned here a few artists that NEVER got their shot on radio, Garth and Trisha did, once.

MuchTooYoung
03-20-2015, 10:19 PM
Radio used to be the third estate of the music industry; disc jockeys were kingmakers who were courted by artists and their labels alike.

And back when this was the case, I used to wonder why radio felt the need to play some artists a lot more than others "because they're what sells," because I felt like, "Well, you, as radio, could make anything sell if you played it."

TRUTH.


However, I have read that the writers of particular songs, the ones that ARE in the top few on radio can make huge amounts in royalties. That's from Blume's book too, but he still says it in the 2013 version.

Well, the writers can make huge amounts in royalties...if they aren't cheated by crooked accounting. ;)


I believe he actually says that recording artists aren't paid royalties for radio airplay...because it's free advertising to get people to buy the record.

That kind of surprises me, to be honest. I knew the session players didn't make anything off the recordings, because it's classified as work for hire, but I thought the actual artists got paid.


When I was growing up in the 90s, the adults were talking about what a crime it was that Haggard, Jones, and the like weren't being played any more, and how no one new was as good and everyone on the radio was now the same. But looking back at the 90s now, it seems downright diverse and progressive.

Not just diverse and progressive, but more sophisticated. I remember Harlan Howard held songwriting to a standard of rejecting imperfect rhyming. He felt that a good writer should be able to find an exact rhyme instead of settling for "close enough". Song run times have grown from around 3:30 to closer to 5:00 because of things like rambling lyrics at least three drafts away from being up to Howard's standards, and self-indulgent instrumental breaks (looking at you, Keith Urban). That translates into three current songs in a 15:00 bloc of radio programming versus four songs in the 90's. That bottlenecks things even further, and that's something that the artists and labels *can* control, but radio really can't. I get that they do it because it means an extra minute and a half in which their single might catch the ear of someone changing stations, but it also means crowding out one another.

One more thing: I get that Contemporary Country radio stations forsake older artists at a certain point. Like Cash said, "I don't like it but I guess things happen that way." But I never understood why classic country radio stations that are built on the catalogs of those abandoned artists also won't play anything new by those folks. Take Willie Nelson, for instance. I don't expect Contemporary Country to keep Willie on the air, but I don't understand why Classic Country won't mix into their playlists something new by Willie when he releases it - and Willie fans know he releases something new about every three months! I mean, those stations are built on the assumption that Willie fans want to hear his music. Why won't they make the leap that we'd also like to hear his new stuff, too? Willie isn't frozen in the mid-80s, so why should listeners and fans of his be?

I emailed a local Classic Country station about this a couple years ago. The programming director didn't explain why they don't do it; he just said that they couldn't.

HOWEVER, that same Classic Country station was the one that reformatted itself as an all-Garth station last summer, until Garth's lawyers made them stop. (I can understand not wanting them to brand themselves using his name and likeness, but I can't really wrap my head around making them give up being dedicated to his music round the clock.) They have played Garth's current singles, and a few days ago I heard them play Trisha's "Prizefighter". They introduced it with a pre-recorded bump saying something about how even a new song can be "classic". I hope that indicates there might be an opening for stations willing to do it to start spinning new stuff from artists who are ignored by the contemporary stations.

Just imagine if we had such a thing in the 90's, where in any given hour we could have gone from, say, Willie's classic "Whiskey River" to something from Cash's American Recordings series in the span of six minutes!