#133: Roundtable – Is Music Dead?

Is music dying?Is music dying? Recent comments by Apple’s Eddie Cue, who spearheaded Apple’s iTunes store, suggest the music industry may be taking its last gasp:

“Music is dying,” said Cue. “It hasn’t been growing. You see it in the number of artists. This past year in iTunes, it’s the smallest number of new releases we’ve had in years.”
– via readwrite

And, in other news, the internet is buzzing about a controversial announcement by YouTube. Listen in, and find out what the buzz is all about!

Articles mentioned in this show:

Apple Buys Beats Music

Apple Bought Beats Because “Music Is Dying”

How Much America Listens to Music

Amazon’s New Fire Phone

  • Adam_B_Harris

    Good to see a semi regular podcast back and not just some sporadic thing that gets trotted out when CD Baby has a new product to sell. Great episode guys.

  • You guys are bucking hilarious! Great episode.

  • Robert Lee King

    Honestly, I seldom listen to music at all anymore. In the car more often than not it’s news or talk. At home, I’ve come to prefer quiet while working at my computer or even writing. I do question the idea that there is less being released lately though I do know the quality of that music has declined greatly. Just examine the top 100 artists. The real problem isn’t lack of content, the problem is choice or rather too much choice.

  • kbreuner

    Buck yeah!

  • kbreuner

    Thanks! Plenty more episode on the way.

  • kbreuner

    You are welcome!

  • Love the podcast. I honestly think music is alive and well, just in a lot more little pieces than it used to be. Keep up the awesome work, guys!

  • Word

    Well..News Flash!! Apple never does anything with the motive of benefiting anyone but themselves. They are a corporation without a soul. They are solely about global domination of the market place. I wouldn’t try to find a consumer friendly reason for any of their activities.

  • Pietro Cesaraccio

    I’m a new listener and I love the podcast I have to say! In my opinion, music is not dead but I think what is dying is that mainstream musicians (I’m talking about pop music) don’t make a huge selling when they release an album. Nowadays they sell a lot with a single but not as much as it used to be with an album. Those mainstream artists probably work more on just one song than rather an entire album. So people either just buy that one song or they just listen to it on the radio or some streaming. The big ones are in decline but the independent are increasing though. What do you guys think?

  • lifebohemia

    Great to listen to you guys. You bring up a lot of topics which are interesting and informative and I like how you keep your balance and humor. Is that possible? Keep it up.

  • deepstructure

    Just watched the talk this quote came from (http://youtu.be/B0dQeUHsILk).

    For the most part both guys dance around what the merger may bring, but I thought this point was interesting: Jimmy Iovine says that curated playlists are the future of music – essentially keeping the album model going.

    That feels like an antiquated idea – one being passionately pursed by a guys who (as they both admit), grew up listening to albums and believing that’s the proper format to hear music in (I for one completely don’t understand Iovine’s comment that you need at least an hour of music to listen to – wtf?).

    Combine this quote (and it’s concomitant idea that music be streamed, something Apple was originally against), with the interview that CDBaby recently linked to with Renman about the future of streaming (http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2014/09/future-digital-downloads), and the new full-song streaming feature in cdbaby’s store (http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2014/09/stream-full-tracks-cdbaby-com), and it sounds like streaming is definitely how music will be consumed in the future.

    I’ve been using Amazon music and Pandora for years and I rarely by albums, and that’s been the case for years. So I get it – as a listener. So what does this mean as an artist?

    Are artists still focused on albums/eps? I like the idea of an ep (say 3-4 tracks), over an album and I’m tending towards even liking the idea of just tracks being up on a page (much like how a search on Beatport simply returns a list). Even back in the days of buying albums there were very few that I loved every track, and many where I was really disappointed that I’d bought an album and only liked one or two songs. Perhaps an artist’s work should be display chronologically, with tracks ordered under year sections. There’s definitely other ways to group tracks rather than in album format, especially now that it’s predominantly distributed and displayed on digital devices.

    I know CDBaby has been talking about artists sales in cds and vinyl going up recently, but I personally don’t think that’s a sustainable trend and that eventually physical media will only be bought by a very small percentage of the public interested in being collectors of a type. I know I haven’t bought a cd in years and years (vinyl even longer obviously), and was glad to be done with them.