Everything we use daily come from something in the past: bycicle, airplanes, smartphone, computer and i can continue all day long. The way music is right now spreaded is anything different. Now we have spotify, iTunes, Youtube Music, but everything started from something outside internet: the the old and dear Records. Without it, i am sure music would not be so successful as it is right now. Let’s celebrate it!
Let’s go back in the last Century. It was the ealry 20s in the 20th Century, life was different than it is right now and even they way music was sold was completely different. There was no internet (there was barely electricity in the houses), no computer and no cellphones. If you wanted to watch a movie, you had to go to the teather, if you wanted to see a sport event you have to buy a ticket and go there and if you wanted to buy something you had to leave your house. And for music? How music was used in those days?
Well, either concerts or radios. There was no television and there was no MTV or “Top of the Pops” back in the day, so people used to hear music on the radio and at concerts. However, for those who can afford it, there was also the chance to buy the music. To do that, they had to go to the shop, buy those black plate inside a cover, pay, go back home, put the record on the player and enjoy the magic. That was pretty much the beggining of the music business.
Since that moment, musician and record labels realised that they could make lot of money with those black plates. The only thing they had to do is to record songs and seel it. It’s was a golden age for musicians. And the reason was pretty simple: for the people, there was no ohter way to listen the same song whenever they want. Yes, there was radio, but if you missed the song you loved, you didn’t know when it might be played again. Now we have youtube or a computer and the only thing we have to do is either save the music video or buy the song on iTunes and we have this song available forever. Even more amazing, we have the choice to buy an entire album, or only one song. Technology allow us to do that. If it’s something good for us, it’s not so good for both the artist and for the label, because they maybe don’t make enough money to cover the costs of the production, even if we talk about A+ artist like Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars or BTS.
In the past they didn’t have this problem with A+ Artists. Band like Kiss, Rolling Stones, Beatles made their fortune with records, because people were forced to buy all their songs. Fans could not choose to buy one, two or half of the album. Either everything or nothing. So, the consumers paid much more money and all the people involved in the music were happy. That was the reason why in the 60s, 70s or 80s musician were able to make money with just one album or just few songs.
Yes, because if you were an artist in the 70s you could decide to sell an entire album, or a so calles EP. The difference? In an album you can record 12 to 19 songs, in an EP only 5 to 9, sometimes even less. So, if an artist had 20 songs ready he could decide to create 3 LP and sell them, istead of one album and they could sell it like three differents album. Do you get it now? Those days were amazing if you were a singer.
Let’s just play a little game. Selena Gomez‘s last album “Rare” sold 215.000 copies. Those are the people who buy all the songs in the album. However there are maybe those who just bought only one or two songs. Just say that another 500.000 people didn’t buy the entire album. If Selena was an artist in the 70s, for example, everyone had to buy the entire album, which means they had to pay more. So, theoretically, Selena would have sold almost a million copies, instead of a quarter of a million. if you think that an album on iTunes costs 10,99 Euro…
I love records, not only for the “marketing strategy”, but also for the music involved. With vinyl are connected the biggest name in the entire music business. All the big name in the 60s, 70s and 80s have used records. And in the 21st Century, those black plates have a huge values and those who has a huge collections i their houses have a fortune.