What’s the idea with CD revenue? Atlantic Records digital sales just exceeded CD sales. Revenue is growing from ringtones, ringbacks, licensing from TV shows and satellite radio. Revenue from expensive-to-press and expensive-to-distribute CDs is plunging. But as I’ve said before, the real rub for artists and the real villain in the reduction of music revenue is single song sales. If Lil Wayne only has 5 songs on your iPod, rather than 3 albums worth, you are missing out on the total Lil Wayne experience. Plus you are more likely to burn out.
Smart artists like Kid Rock want you to buy the whole album. He’s got lots of stories to tell. Lots of rhymes. A fan who listens to all of “Rock and Roll Jesus, not just “All Summer Long,” will become a more loyal fan of Kid Rock. A more committed fan. A more viral fan. A drunk-dialing fan. A ticket buying fan. S/he knows what the record execs will know in about 2 years. (Record execs are a little slow, if you haven’t noticed.) Single song sales are killing the business. Peace!