*yawn* This old chestnut again.
Another whine about piracy from a business that stubbornly refuses to recognise that the size and shape of the market has changed beyond recognition since the 70's, and would have done so even without the bogeyman of downloading.
There have been a number of news items recently about schools closing due to faling rolls. this isnt a new situation. The market has shrunk, so the market for "current" music is smaller than that of 20 years ago - there are simply not as many teens out there now to buy the dross that many companies churn out of their mills, hence the yawnfest of someone going straight to number one rather than fighting its way up the charts. At one time a straight in at the top entry was noteworthy, but now it is an expectation, and the achievement is devalued because it is a routine event on the back of lower sales levels.
The older music buying public has largely built their collections, I no longer feel drawn to buy some new music every week, simply put there isnt that much out there I want, add to that the loss of Woolies - in many areas all that is left is the very restricted range stocked by Tesco - nothing there for me - we have no independants left and my nearest HMV et al is 65 miles away.
Im sick of reading the whining about downloading - its not the biggest problem, a shrinking market is, along with a steep decline in the quality of the content. Heres a clue, I am unlikely to buy - say - a ballad from 25 years ago thats been covered at a frantic pace with a bonkers beat,
20/30 years ago... we had 45s and albums... and 3 channels on tv. Now we have consoles, multi channel tv piping MTV etc at us 24/7, mobile phones, all of this takes a toll, consoles and phones eat into disposable income, MTV and the like play to the disposable nautre of much music, why bother buying it when some channels will ram it down your throat 10 times a day until the next hot track comes along?
Its a shame that so far down the road - this "industry" still has not woken up to the new world which has a smaller market and more competeing with it for attention and share of the disposable income - especially now when all around are tuning to liquidators.