The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from their destruction
You know I didn’t even care
They say two thousand zero, zero
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. Most blame Napster for this decline, but if you dig deeper you will find that Wall Street and government policy are the actual cause of this steep decline in music revenue.
(Left to Right) Junior Murvin, Bob Marley, Jacob Miller, and Chris Blackwell
Corporate culture is not conducive to developing musical talent. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Record, quoted in The Song Machine by John Seabrook:
I don’t think the music business lends itself very well to being a Wall Street business. You’re always working with individuals, with creative people, and the people your are trying to reach, by and large, don’t view music as a commodity but as a relationship with a band. It takes time to expand that relationship, but most people who work for the corporations have three-year contracts, some five, and most of them are expected to produce. What an artist really needs is a champion, not a numbers guy who in another year is going to leave.
Adele’s new album, 25, sold 3.38 million copies in its debut week and another 1.1 million copies in its second week. It has smashed the single-week US album sales record, previously held by 90s boyband ★NSYNC. It has become the best-selling release of 2015, bypassing Taylor Swift’s 1989. It is also the first LP ever to sell over 1 million copies in its second week after accomplishing that feat in its first.