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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

CD Sales: U.K. vs. U.S.

Via Carnival of the Capitalists, here's a report on CD sales in the U.K. and the U.S. In particular, U.K. consumers buy 37% as many CDs as U.S. consumers, despite its population being 20% as large. [A handy comparison in the size of the music market is to compare the sales needed for platinum certification: 300,000 in the U.K., compared to 1 million in the U.S.]

Barry Ritholtz posits three possible reasons:

A more vibrant, less consolidated broadcast radio music scene (No Clear
Channel Radio);
Less mass produced corporate McMusic so prevalent on the radio in the States -- from Ashlee Simpson to insipid Boy Bands;
A robust economic expansion. The U.S. '90s bubble was far more muted in the U.K., so its after effects are also less insidious.



However, I have to disagree on two points. One, Boy Bands. Hasn't he heard of Take That? Or that before U.S. radio stations embraced their style of pop music, the Backstreet Boys were stars in Europe?

In addition, the BBC is the dominant music force in the U.K. If they don't play a song, it's not likely to be a hit.

Based on the U.K. music compilations I've listened to, I agree that the music scene is better there. There is more variability in the pop music scene there, with more styles of music embraced. One key difference: consider how long it takes to tour the United Kingdom. Compare how long it would take to play similar cities in the larger, more populous United States.

2 Comments:

At 2:18 AM, Blogger gecko said...

I would agree. Have you heard the group Mansun? I picked them up in Japan.

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Greg said...

I recognize the name, but I'm not familiar with their style of music. I think I recognize the name from reading British music magazines, actually.

 

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