Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things Are Tough All Over

In case you hadn't noticed, we happen to be in the middle of a nasty little economic recession at the moment. Understandably, people are a bit spooked and are being cautious with their hard-earned pay, if, indeed, they still have a job at all. The unfortunate side effect of this fiscal caution is that people aren't buying anything like they might normally at this time of year, and that includes music, which is bad news to this already struggling market. Future Music Blog is reporting that the fourth quarter of 2008 will be the worst ever for CD sales, to the tune of a 27% drop.

And it's not just CD sales that are dropping. More niche markets, such as that for vinyl (which until recently had been on the rise a bit), are also suffering. Belgium's Side-Line magazine reports:

"Neuton, one of the biggest (vinyl) music distributors, is about to announce its insolvency today. After the collapse of the UK distributor Amato and the Japanese distributor Cisco, the whole vinyl label scene and the distributors were under extreme pressure. Neuton worked with many top electronic labels, distributing music for diverse labels including Four Twenty, Tresor, Vakant, or Perlon and has worked in the past with labels like Bpitch control, Playhouse, Klang or M_nus."

What this will ultimately mean is hard to know, but it is hard to avoid the reality that it will be the small, indie labels that feel this most deeply (although even Wal Mart is having to slash prices to get music to sell). How many casualties we'll see is hard to say, but there are sure to be a few. Here's hoping their numbers will be minimal...

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