Album Sales Are Down by 11 Percent This Year

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Taylor Swift’s 1989 was 2014’s most-discussed album release, similar to the buzz Beyoncé’s surprise self-titled album received in 2013.

The numbers show that 1989 deserved the attention: in the last week of 2014 it became the top-selling album of 2014 in the United States. According to Soundscan data, Swift’s album sold 3.66 million copies. The album has only been out for nine weeks, but it narrowly beat out Disney’s Frozen soundtrack sales (the soundtrack came out at the end of 2013). Beyoncé’s self-titled album came in at number six this year.

Overall, 257 million albums were sold in the United States in 2014, 11 percent less than 2013.

Digital album sales fell by 9 percent, continuing 2013’s first-ever decline in digital sales.  Swift’s 1989 was the top-selling digital album, selling 1.41 million units.

Vinyl record sales continue to rise (Fat Possum recently opened a new vinyl pressing plant to meet demand).  Sales are are up 52 percent this year at 9.2 million.  Jack White’s Lazaretto was the top selling vinyl album, selling 87,000 units.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u


31 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Perhaps artists should do what Swift does, then.

    Her goodbye to Spotify didn’t exactly hurt her sales… 🙂

    • Anonymous

      SO she sold 3.6M copies. Spotify has at most 40M users. TS has 73M Facebook fans. What happened to the other 70M people? Even if every Spotify user was a fan of TS, what happened to the other 30M fans?

  2. Anonymous

    kids don’t spend time near turntables. they spend all their time on phones. vinyl will fade away again.

    • RickyLopez

      I bet whatever you use as a media is not about in 70 years time. Vinyl has lived that long (100+ in early formats)


    I don’t think that the decline of music industry/society is ever going to stop. It sure seems like nobody is going to be able to solve this problem. You know that it’s end times when you have all sorts of musical talents and your family and even some of your friends condemn you for being creative because the income is no longer their to survive. The Disrespect for creative people it at an all time high and the value for creativity is only going to decline. Everybody has access too to many songs for free. The only reason Taylor Swift Sold what she did was because of her model like image and all of the little kiddies/parents that look up to her. She’s also involved in many aspects of selling things besides her music that have helped her sell her music.

    I have been thinking for a while that musicians need to unite like Nazi’s and and put an end to this madness. Pretty soon their is going to music schools and studios closing everywhere not to mention companies that sell music equipment are going to suffer massive losses. It called the Domino Effect where one thing leads to another and another and another and another. You can bet that It won’t be long before every body is done for! Happy New Year because when you understand it all you know that there aren’t many left.

  4. RickyLopez

    Why is the media desperate to band stand one year sales? (apart from being desperate for eyeballs) Last year they were up – it depends on releases. Same as games…(for now) DVD maybe not.

  5. DNog

    I love that pro-streaming people don’t think it’s affecting album sales.

    • GGG

      Pretty sure 100% of rational pro streaming people understand it’s going to cut out some sales, which is why we’re all completely for windowing releases if you want.

      The issue is how long we force ourselves to stay in this middle ground of minimal streaming payouts and anemic sales. So we can either find a way to reverse culture and shut down the internet so nobody can steal or consume music for free, or we can push subscriptions to streaming services so as many people as possible are more or less directly monetized almost every single time they listen to music.

      • DNog

        I agree with what you’re saying unfortunately the artist don’t have control( it’s highly unlikely all with window or take down their music) so the possibility of a dramatic change looks distant and dismal in my opinion. Not to be a debbie downer, I would love the opposite. So with that view point, I’d rather lose streaming and have companies spend money and time on anti-piracy methods. Of course, these are all just far fetched “wants” anyways.

        • GGG

          Well sure, I’d make a lot more money if people bought more music haha. So ideally, I’m on your, and people like Fareplay’s side. But I’m not pro streaming because I think it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m pro streaming because I think it’s got a real chance to bring us out of this rut, more so than anything else. I don’t completely write off a resurgence of sales, but I just don’t see any evidence it will come back. Vinyl is a niche and digital is just too easy to get around payment (unless something drastic happens). Assuming subscriptions for streaming grow, whether it’s Spotify or Deezer, some new company, or a mix of a few, it could make a big difference.

          An anecdotal example, one of my acts premiered a song a few months back that got 70K plays on Soundcloud, which gave us 0 dollars directly. Imagine if Spotify was popular enough that more blogs linked there for premiers. We would have made a few hundred bucks from people who had most likely never heard of us, let alone heard a song before. And many of them probably won’t ever care about us again. But we made money directly from them. Now all of a sudden, the endless stream of unknown bands can at least make a bit of coin from “exposure” and PR.

  6. matthew king kaufman

    The crummy, corporate music offerings that receive the massive marketing $s, might be responsible for slow sales. This is a cyclical business. Music will make a comeback.

  7. FarePlay

    They tried to kill vinyl once, through neglect. Imagine if the music industry had continued to embrace vinyl as a niche sales channel, where vinyl sales would be today. Young adults who are ruled by tech do not make up the entire population and those of us over 40 still purchase physical product as we always have.

    What’s great about Taylor Swift’s accomplishment is that she renewed interest in a generation less aware of the benefits of owning physical product. To beat out a soundtrack with the power of promotion from a blockbuster film, only points out the limited impact spotify has on legacy artists.

    Let’s start wising up and realizing that killing off options only further erodes an artists ability to earn money.

  8. Anonymous

    Could people also care less about music? There is Facebook & Twitter, Netflix, etc. ie. other things people are wasting their time in these days. Video games make over eight times the amount of money recorded music nets, this was certainly not the case in the 80s and 90s.

    • GGG

      I think this is part of it, though in a sort of counter-intuitive way. I think people care more about music now then ever, it’s a huge part of what people, especially kids, use to identify themselves. But the biggest differences from the 60s/70s is that 1) I don’t think music is as important to driving the culture anymore, mainly because all the most visible “artists” are completely contrived, and 2) music listening isn’t an active hobby for too many people anymore. As you say, there’s just too many other things going on now.

    • FarePlay

      No question the music business is on the ropes and certainly there are other options. For those of us who still hold music high, we’re just trying to figure out how to make the best out of an extremely challenging situation.

  9. Willis

    If the industry would stop putting out crappy music, maybe they would see an uptick. Don’t even begin to deny this is part of it.

    • FarePlay

      Willis. As much as my listening preferences are embedded in music recorded in the 60’s and 70’s, a far simpler and happier time to be a young adult, there is great music being made today. It’s just harder to find it, because there is so much more music being created.

      One of the problems we continue to talk about is human curation and the lack of resources that embrace it. Major contributors to this problem are interactive music streaming services, that offer MOST users limited exposure to new music. How can a service with tens of millions of songs limit our choices? Because MOST listeners are not adventurous, and with the decline of CD sales and the information about the music, deprives MOST listeners of any details about who made the music. A great way to find new music is to follow the musicians, songwriters, producers, etc., whose work you like? Something lost to MOST listeners who only have an online relationship with music.

      Then we have Echo Nest which is a software program, used by Pandora and recently purchased by Spotify, natch, that builds predictability models based on listeners taste are musical signatures, rhythm, genre , etc. to create, no not create, produce playlists.

      Lastly, the big kahuna. Everyone with a computer can cobble together content and make music.

      • GGG

        I think you overestimate how many people read liner notes. Go ask the millions of people who bought a physical version of 1989 to name one producer on there, let alone on a specific track, and we’ll be lucky if ten people know. I certainly agree making that information readily visible and known to people would be great, but I don’t think liner notes really lead to that much more discovery anymore, outside of people like us.

        I DO agree most people are lazy and need to be told what to listen to, but that’s not really streaming’s fault. From the home page of Spotify, you can get to playlists of Top Hits, Viral Hits, New Releases, related artists to ones you’ve listened to, etc in one click. It wouldn’t be any easier to find a playlist curated by Harry Styles or someone, but yes, it would have a far greater impact, so I do agree more services should be giving artists that platform. It’s worked for Sirius/XM shows with Dylan, Petty, etc.

        • Anonymous

          its just a popularity contest… its a mind/brain game… its an election…

          those who can dupe and manipulate the most people in their core demographic will be the winners who sell the most and get played the most, for the most part…

          of course independently you just wont have the muscle to really get anywhere so you have to pick your lanes and your niches…

          and then after that its nothing more then a contest and has nothing to do with the music really…

          of course people do not care about liner notes, not one bit, they want the illusion, the dream, the fairy tale, the super hero, the gimmick, the image….

          people are so susceptible to propaganda and marketing that a good looking well chiseled friendly energetic extroverted front man or woman, will win every time, and if you add to that a big posse and big budget, then theres no losing for them, simply because they only need to dupe enough people in order to create the domino effect…

          i wish more people would understand the psychological and manipulative games it all has become and how it has so little to do with music and who made it… hate that all you want but it’s just the harsh truth and reality of it all and why a taylor swift can amass an army of swifties… break it all down, look at all the factors and see that her musician talk is just pure genius marketing to get all those non pop and all the phono graph and industry people fighting in her corner, when all it is is just political party marketing 101 pure propaganda all the way… lucky for her her team puts together really good commerce marketing tween cheerios music, so that helps… her whole campaign is super well oiled and bankstered up all the way, just like an Obama election campaign, hers is just the same damn thing… Music and her musicianship is just a side show by product of the reality of what it is and has become…

          Take her music, go find some fugly chunky introverted woman, and watch it fall so flat so fast it wouldnt even be funny…

          • FarePlay

            Can’t disagree, really. Although I think you picked the wrong target. Love the bit about the chunky woman at the end of your diatribe.

        • FarePlay

          At some point, GGG, you will understand that you lose credibility with your addiction to the need to respond to every nuance of a comment. It may simply be your need to be right, but often times you contradict yourself just to make, what you think is a point.

          Can listeners change? We hope so. Best case scenario would be for fans to understand that on some level they have a responsibility to contribute to those artists who make a difference in their lives. What you left out, GGG, was the actual packaging of Ms Swifts CD, which was brilliant. Most memorable were a series of selfies with a statement about each song on the CD. I believe that Ms Swifts fans did in fact consume the liner notes, because they want to know more about this artist with a natural ability to create a feeling of connection with her followers.

          • GGG

            First of all, how any of this a nuance? It’s a huge part of your argument against digital media…Or if it is a nuance, don’t write about it. Seems like you just get bitter whenever I call out some point you make that you can’t then defend. I also don’t see how any of that is contradictory, either. Maybe sometimes I make a point from multiple sides of an argument. That’s called understanding that this isn’t 1975 anymore, and our utopian vision won’t work. The music culture is not this homogenous thing with 3 tv channels and a couple radio stations calling the shots. Every individual person has a different experience every day based on all the shit they watch/see shared on social media/find online on their own/etc.

            Secondly, I’ve never cared one bit how much credibility I have to you. You are my heel when I have 5 minutes to kill here and there. When you do more than post other people’s articles on your Facebook and call yourself an activist, maybe I’ll care. But probably not.

            And last, yes of course people will look at pictures of Taylor Swift and notes from Taylor Swift. The vast majority will not look at who co-wrote or engineered Shake It Off, though. Of course curation is something that services should be taking more advantage of, I just don’t see what that has to do with liner notes or physical product. Most people’s interaction with media is still online, even if a friend tells you in person. You go home and google it. Or pull out your phone and google it. All the same information plus about a billion percent more, than you can ever find in liner notes.

  10. FarePlay

    GGG (G) “Secondly, I’ve never cared one bit how much credibility I have to you. You are my heel when I have 5 minutes to kill here and there. When you do more than post other people’s articles on your Facebook and call yourself an activist, maybe I’ll care. But probably not.”

    “In The Company of Cowards” John Mellencamp

    Now you made it personal, G, and opened the door to elaborate on what “we’re” doing.

    First let me get this out of the way. I comment as a real person for two reasons. It is a sign that I have the courage to stand behind my convictions. Second, how can I ask artists to step forward and speak out against those things they believe are unfair and abusive, if I don’t?

    The free-file sharing crowd viciously, ANONYMOUSLY, unmercifully attacked any artist who spoke out against online piracy. That is changing. Why? Because there’s a whole generation of musicians who grew up in that world and much to their disappointment found out it didn’t work. Secondly, people figured out that piracy was a scam. People were making money from it. People were making money off someone else’s work. Even Peter Sunde, from pirate bay, has said as much.

    This has never been about me. I’m honored to be part of a very loose knit coalition of like minded individuals. Individuals, it turns out, are much smarter and far more prolific than I will ever be. People like David Lowery, Chris Castle, David Newhouse, Ellen Seidler, Jonathan Bailey, Blake Morgan, Jeff Boxer, Count and Douglas Preston and many more.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hold a candle to any of these individuals, nor do we actively endorse one another. We do promote each others work and I imagine that’s what you’re referring to when you say I repost other people’s insights and beliefs on the FarePlay Facebook Page. You could call that curation, something we talk about a great deal here.

    Besides, I’m a counter puncher, not a long form writer. Although, you’ll find some of my writings under William Buckley Jr at the Huffington Post and some of the comments I’ve made over the past three years at

    I refer to myself as a ‘pro-artist digital rights advocate’ because that’s what I stand for. What do you call yourself? Or better yet; What do you stand for?

    And here’s where people like yourself confuse me. You’ve indicated that you manage bands or something along those lines. So why then do you spend so much time beating down on the possibility of people selling their recorded music? Of course your generation is moving more toward streaming, but what’s the hurry in eliminating a way for artists to make more money?

    It doesn’t make any sense and frankly leaves you and others who post here appearing to have ulterior motives. As does being anonymous.

    What you’re doing by promoting streaming as the only future for music is exactly what they did to vinyl when CDs came along. Had the music industry chosen to honor both formats perhaps vinyl would be playing a much bigger part in recorded music sales today.

    Besides, the handwritings on the wall for interactive music streaming. Spotify will need to pay huge advances to eliminate windowing, but mid-level bands with any kind of following, will not get paid, and delay their release. At this very moment some mid-level bands are withdrawing all or part of their songs from Spotify. I hear from them everyday. They get a check for $11.56 and they say why bother.

    We all know the windfall from ‘awareness’, heralded by the pirate community, that was going to create all these alternative streams of revenue like touring and merch, never panned out for most bands.

    Why would it be any different with Spotify?

    So what have I done? Very little. I’m just a voice with no dog in the fight.

    • GGG

      I will preface this by saying it took me a lot longer than 5 minutes, so you can feel validated this time…haha

      To answer the general ideas of your post, yes piracy is shitty and will always be shitty. I certainly don’t disagree with that. The reason for my “support” of streaming is because at some point, if we want to make more money as/for artists, the scale is going to have to tip much more in one direction. Otherwise we will be stuck in this same spot for another decade; sales going nowhere but down, streaming not having the subscription numbers to pay better, and all sorts of people coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of acts with promises of “exposure.”

      And this is NOT me saying we should abolish vinyl or CDs or DLs. I have never, nor will I ever, tell any artist NOT to sell those things. But my, or your, personal ideals can’t change a cultural/generational shift, nor do they pay the bills. And in my years working with acts, I have seen how fewer and fewer people care about that stuff. It’s just the hard truth, whether we like it or not. If someone comes up with some brilliant idea, or if culture does turn around 180 and starts buying again, I will absolutely love it, will shower that person with praise, and will denounce streaming in a heartbeat, you have my word. But I don’t really see that happening. If we can legitimately shut down torrenting, there’s still a number of legal file sharing sites, there’s still youtube, there’s still SoundCloud, there will be ten new sites every month that offer places for artists to put their stuff. Not to mention, there will always be the “freetards” as you guys like to say, building some new way to steal and share music. And the weird thing is, artists won’t even shy away from these. Hell, I see people every day complain about Spotify payouts, then I look on Bandcamp and I can stream their stuff for free and they get zero money at all! How does THAT make sense? If there was some data that showed how BC visits yield some abnormally high rate of buys, then there would be something there. But again, from anecdotal experience with a number of bands, I don’t see any data saying much of anything. Maybe it’s there for other acts, I won’t totally discount it, but I personally haven’t seen it.

      And look, I’ll say it; the fact streaming is taking over FUCKING SUCKS. Transplant my whole state of affairs to 2002, let alone 1998, and I’d be making substantially more money. Any support I have of streaming has nothing to do with how I think things should be. I’ve said numerous times in many posts that, philosophically, I agree with you in most ways. The difference is I DO have a vested interest in making money for acts/myself now. And it’s my opinion that spending another decade stuck in this stupid argument about sales, instead of pushing more towards one thing, is the worst thing we can do as an industry. I’m very open to ideas pushing for more sales, but they’ve all failed for a decade+ and there’s nothing new on the horizon. Best case scenario would be more streamers and people still buying the amount of music they buy even today, but I think we both assume that won’t happen, which is why streaming is even an issue. So pushing for subscription services seems to be the best bet, as things stand. Get 100M+ users with hopefully a good amount of them paying, and developing acts would certainly make more money. See my anecdotal story in my convo with DNog up there. Monetizing as many instances of music consumption as possible can put a lot of money in pockets that have up until his point never seen any. In this overcrowded music market, imagine if getting some dumb blog post actually put some coin in your pocket.

      Spotify can change plenty too. They can certainly have higher and/or more uniform rates. I’m all for windowing. I’m all for Spotify/streaming services letting you keep releases for premiums users only. In my perfect world maybe monthly fees would only be paid out to the artists you listen to, etc. Honestly, I don’t have too much issue with pushback against Spotify, it’s more when the pushback pairs up with increasingly faltering models of doing business and perfectly valid/respectable, but useless idealism. And again, pair them up as suits you best, window to your hearts content. But when I asked a few months back, even Paul couldn’t convince himself sales were going to be a thing in the not-too-distant-future. I mean, half the time he writes articles blasting streaming he’s probably streaming himself.

      The last thing I’ll say is regarding your last point. I’ve said this on here before, and as a disclaimer I will say this is not a statement supportive of piracy. But one of the few things I disagree with you even on a fundamental level is the “positive” effects of piracy. I think the rise of piracy, i.e. the ability for people to hear a boatload of music, directly influenced the rise of music blogs (which sure, you can argue who gives a shit) but also the rebound of the live market, specifically festivals, and the growth of the indie scene in general. We don’t need to argue this though, we can just agree to disagree.

      • Anonymous

        Hell, I see people every day complain about Spotify payouts, then I look on Bandcamp and I can stream their stuff for free and they get zero money at all! How does THAT make sense? If there was some data that showed how BC visits yield some abnormally high rate of buys, then there would be something there. But again, from anecdotal experience with a number of bands, I don’t see any data saying much of anything. Maybe it’s there for other acts, I won’t totally discount it, but I personally haven’t seen it.

        BC gives some control… You can make songs private, if you want you can upload a snippet and then make private the full track, there’s options… streaming is their way or the highway, and i cant even really control the interface or anything, i cant even use some of them in my country, its a pain…

        You can do the itunes thing where you show a few songs however you want and hide the rest of the record, whether or not it helps sales, who knows, ill shove a sword in my gut to avoid some things though, so for some people the sheer principal of the matter makes it worth it…

        You cant get streaming spins to a decent payout point without massive huge incredible amounts of promotion, thus cutting into that revenue anyways… Any story to the contrary is pure random luck where maybe the had a 1Der add some obscure tune to their playlist and all the little kiddies spun it up, but never just organically cause the music is good does anyone ever get any traction anywhere in a public way that will help them directly and immediately…

        Streaming is okay, i agree with you on that, its not the boogie man, but its only okay if you have the muscle and the budgets, otherwise its a tough pill to swallow, just handing all those companies master with no license fee to use to their advantage in multiple ways, securing more funding being one of them, all the while telling me how lucky i am for such a service???? Erm, i don’t think so!!!!


        Of course some of us have the problem where we cant even put a USB drive in the computer, so the private tracks dont help some of us much… Im sure those labels and artists doing it to me are sick and tired of having it done to them, so i get that, but the difference is, im not doing that to them, so im really disappointed in those labels and artists and producers etc. for what they have done to me… One thing to jack it just to enjoy and listen to, a whole other thing to jack unpublished material to use as inspiration for their material that they then beat me to market with and hammer up the charts and make a killing off of…. Anyways, tallyho!

    • GGG

      Oh, I also meant to say, you certainly gain some respect using your real name, or moniker at least, though you’re not exactly saying anything controversial. But still, I’ll give you the point out of principle.

      The reason I stay anonymous is because I know, and have seen first hand, how vindictive people in this industry can be, myself included in very small capacities (so far…haha). So I don’t want any feelings towards me to carry over or project on any act I work with. That’d be an extremely annoying side effect.

  11. Anonymous

    It doesn’t make any sense and frankly leaves you and others who post here appearing to have ulterior motives. As does being anonymous.

    Anon makes a lot of sense especially in the music badness and doesnt always mean ulterior motive, some of us need security and protection…

    What you’re doing by promoting streaming as the only future for music is exactly what they did to vinyl when CDs came along. Had the music industry chosen to honor both formats perhaps vinyl would be playing a much bigger part in recorded music sales today.

    Vinyl is niche and tertiary and just has a ceiling now and ongoing… Think about it though, Kodak created the first digital camera and ultimately had to go bankrupt whereas vinyl is still kicking along and last year was pretty darn good in the big scheme of things…

    Think about that some more… Hardly anyone will sit around in a dark room exposing film the old way, which ive done myself and the convenience and definition digital provides makes the dark room just mostly a waste of time, yet people will still go through all the trouble to make and listen to vinyl…

    That in and of itself is freaking amazing… I’ve been trying to find a typewriter recently and it’s not getting easy, but i can still walk into some of the modern newer stores and find some sort of hi-fi turntable system… That again is pretty amazing and should say everything it needs to…

    The music bidness has always dropped the ball and yet is still kicking along… With how badly they drop the ball, i mean they just fumble the thing constantly, its incredible the thing is still doing anything!!!

    Streaming is inevitable, far too beneficial for tech and telecom who have far too much muscle and music artists/actors etc. will always be desperate for attention and fame however luckily are more influential, so so long as it can be kept to a large percentage of professionals and not overridden with too many star-maker propped up actor models, there will be some balance…

    I cant stand streaming myself, i hate the tracking and spying and data grabbing, but the convenience and when they figure out decent curation beyond face front celeb playlists, it will be ok!

    Ive never taken my good ol nemesis GGGGGGGGGGG as promoting it as the only thing forward, he or she or it just lays it out there bluntly, as it is, and crystal balling, yeah, streaming sadly seems to be the likeliest way forward… I prefer to own it myself and if i was still consuming music, id prefer the high quality file ownership with well built high quality music player…

    Besides, the handwritings on the wall for interactive music streaming. Spotify will need to pay huge advances to eliminate windowing, but mid-level bands with any kind of following, will not get paid, and delay their release. At this very moment some mid-level bands are withdrawing all or part of their songs from Spotify. I hear from them everyday. They get a check for $11.56 and they say why bother.

    I would hope so… No way id ever put music to streaming ever again UNLESS they ponied up a license for the masters as they have to to Majors, PERIOD!!!!!!!!! I will be removing my catalog from all streaming sites when my contract comes up, and they better do their job this time!!!!

    I actually have my latest singles at $9.99 and the album at $99.99, but ive just cancelled the release of it altogether, for a bunch of reasons.

    Anyways… Streaming is good for the consumer but not so good for the creator…

    If i was taking the fork in the road to continue forging ahead with music, i wouldnt put any of it other then a few singles on the internet… Heck i dont even want to attach a USB stick to my computer thats connected to the net let alone even upload the masters to a site to distribute them with the streaming feature turned off, cause when you are dealing with professionals, they just hack the thing or they get it from the site owners or etc. Anything streaming is so easy for someone to record anyways…

    So you screw yourself by putting it on Spotify or whatever, the people who are just as sick of the tracking and spying and screw jobs as i am simply play the thing once and record it to their daw or else use some nice ripping software or however else they decide to get it and then just ship around VPN’s… By then all the metadata is gonzo and the onion is annoying to peel… And since we are all the same sort of way theres nothing i can do about it, i cant sue those kinds of people because heck, i think the same way, so so so sick of it all…

    They need to understand however that i am not rich and i pay for it myself, therefore i need some stats or data or something somehow to take advantage of it so that i can keep killing it for them… Thats all….

  12. Scott Prophet

    When the most popular genre requires no singing ability or musicianship, this is what you get. Real musicians are systematically being exiled from their own country, so to speak. They are the dinosaurs or at the very least, endangered species. Even in the days of total control by the music industry it was ultimately driven by and for the musician. Artist development is non existent in the industry now because there is no vision by the record executives anymore, mostly due to the desperate need for quick returns. In the 70s the developed and top selling artists paid for the development of the new fledgling acts. New artists were not expected to be the meal ticket for the company. If it did happen by chance, great. But many artists were allowed to grow by not being dropped after low sales from their first effort. And I also believe that something genuine is lost in not having a physical product. Back then you didn’t even know what a band looked like until you got the album. Now it’s all on the net before you hear anything and download it onto a device in an over compressed, lifeless, sterile format designed for volume of content rather than quality.