CD Sales Marketing
In a recent article New Musical Express has revealed that 844,122 vinyl records have been sold in the UK as of October 2014. Well relatively recent. In the United Kingdom alone, the Arctic Monkey’s album ‘AM’ sold the most pressings and in front of Jack White’s vinyl ‘Lazaretto’. But CD’s in this day and age lack a formidable portraiture in recent memory, more now then ever. They are physical relic of a bygone era—so say some. Casual listeners of Spotify, no not recall the effort in going to acquire the music, the physical action of the thing. It was the hearing the song, and the seeking after—sort of like hide and seek. We has listeners in the 21st Century would like to think that music, as we presently understand of it, died a rather dignified death. That it was a funeral of great dignity and percipience—all the great composes basked in a faded glow and at once; everyone created beautiful music together. Very satisfying. A big finale of the old-fashioned sort, clearly.
A condition of this illusion of convenience, being able to have just limitless access to every song ever, is that the more honest portrait of music, and CDs subsequent death; probably, resembles the death of those brightest stars that died young. In other words: the death’s of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, (which is to say: shot, overdosed and aspirated) respectively. The image for the ‘Death of the CD’—and their subsequent marketing, can also be found in the pictures of scenes of death, for all of those aforementioned stars’ names. But one things through fully, when making such inflammatory accusations of the ‘Death of the CD’. One does not have to look further than in a recent article from Rock music’s premier entrepreneur, Gene Simmons—in an interview in Esquire (interestingly enough, conducted by his son Nick Simmons). ‘Rock is finally dead’ the title bombastically proclaims, if not with some kind of implied rhetoric. The interview that follows is akin to any individual, who has ever listened to an elderly relative; refer back to the so-called ‘Glory Days’. Mr. Simmons (the younger) declares, sorta: The death of rock music came, as we all feared, not as a bright, burning explosion, but as a candle that slowly faded away—it is hard to tell if the candle he refers to, is of the pale fire of Nabokov’s artistic light, or rather the lyrics of Neil Young’s ‘it’s better to burn out than to fade away’—difficult to tell with these, Simmons folks sometimes.
A long time has since passed the days of pressings, analog tapes, and the eventual first encounter with CDs, not to mention iTunes, the iPod, Napster and the like. Currently, incomes for musicians are down. Some things never change. Convenience has worn over listeners and left the people who made the individuals who made the music, on the knees of digital distributors—like Spotify. In the process, equanimity alludes some of the more infantile remarks of metaphoric, presently extinct, dinosaurs (Buzzfeed, for all the hype published this gossipy gem where Tom DeLonge compared downloading music to ‘Killing Elephants’)—apropos, the extinction metaphor, isn’t it? Metaphoric-iconographic irony though, is present everywhere in contemporary life. The MacBook, posses an apple, McDonalds, an arch, Google and Facebook alike—generally ignored; these signs and symbols leave a pressing mark, on even the most passively conscience.
Hypothetically, if one were to spend some time with an individual, who perhaps, takes a while to notice things, they might gaze down at their iPhone, and wonder about where it all came from. Not the iPhone itself, but the content with which it contains, how it is there—one day here, gone the next: like CDs and their marketing. Sitting, with this aforementioned they might lean from across a table, stare up, and with wander say, “Have you ever taken the time to notice what color the Spotify logo is?” Alas, this individual—in their ignorance, stumbled upon a greatest truth about Spotify, companies, the future, the past and even the present of music—as an industry, and as a whole. In the end, as it was in the beginning, it is all about money as Gene Simmons knew it was, music was just of a secondary means—to them.