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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.

    Will There Still Be a Demand For New Music in 2009?
    By Ami Stevens

    As consumers tighten their budgets, the entertainment industry is left wondering what will become of music demand. The global economic recession has affected some of the strongest markets in the world, including the US and UK, and there has been little or no substantial increase in average wages over the past several decades. With the amount of disposable income available to people declining, new music would seem to be destined to occupy a position of very low priority in most people's lives.

    However, there have been simultaneous advances in technology that have made music distribution much easier than it was in the past. Digital distribution, through legal means that do not infringe on copyrights, have become more popular throughout the first decade of the 21st Century, which leaves some hope that the demand for new music may not wane so much due to the grim economic outlook for 2009.

    If there is one sector that has seen impressive growth in sales, it has been the sale of single tracks by digital music distribution sites. Over 1.7 billion single track downloads were purchased in 2007, accounting for a growth rate of 53% over previous years. This innovative means of distributing new music has several aspects which do not conflict with a widespread desire in the consumer sector to rein in spending.

    First, a single track download, sometimes priced as low as $.99US, allows consumers to sample new music without purchasing an entire album's worth of an unknown product. If they like the music, of course, there is always the chance that the track will serve a marketing purpose and entice those consumers to purchase that entire album. Music distribution in this regard is something of an advertisement and a product all in one. Consumers are generally accustomed to being able to examine a product before they purchase it and a single track download allows this to some degree.

    Music distribution online, however, has still been dominated by pirate sites, with a ratio of 20 illegal downloads for every legal download in 2006. For the music industry, this means that new music will often be obtained by consumers in ways that produce no revenue for the company, a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The bright side of all of this, of course, is that the demand for new music does not seem to be diminishing. What seems to be diminishing is consumer's willingness to pay the sometimes high prices charged for a CD.

    Music demand, if it is not diminishing, may simply need to be addressed in a more creative way. Digital distribution requires little overhead. There is no packaging, no CD's that need to be pressed and no physical stores with which one must deal. In the case of indie bands, new music has quite frequently been marketed directly to the consumers by the musicians themselves due to the low investment required.

    Overall, as in any year, it does seem to be the case that there will be music demand, particularly for new music, in 2009. The way in which record labels choose to approach this, however, will be of the most importance in how the companies fare. Digital distribution remains a largely untapped resource. Those companies willing to put forth an effort into exploiting this market stand to be the providers of new music to the masses. While attempting to throttle piracy has proved largely ineffective, offering consumers a valuable alternative has seemed to be a worthwhile investment for distributors and musicians alike.

    Thank you for reading. I am a freelance journalist heavily involved in the new uk music scene, covering local and national gigs and tours for online reviews. I spend my spare time promoting new bands and music with both online and offline marketing and advice.


    ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues. All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics) Also, this is a PG-13 rating and will be censored if you do not edit it. Please e-mail The EvO:R Street Journal.
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