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Jay Z and Kanye West do their bit to kill the music industry

July 30, 2011

Check out this BBC news report about a deal that Jay Z and Kanye West have made to release physical copies of their new album Watch the Throne through a shop chain two weeks before releasing it to everyone else. Independent record store owners are very pissed off about it and believe it will damage them economically.

Jay Z and Kanye West album deal irks indie retailers

Eric Levin,head of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, said: ‘A two-week window will be disastrous for music retailers.‘ According to Billboard 75% of the demand for the album is expected to be satisfied within ten days – which means the indie stores won’t make any money from an album that would be expected to make them a nice profit.

Well, I sympathise with the record shops. It’s a dumb, greed-driven deal that may well make a nice fat wad for the artists, their label and the chain store but will hasten the demise of the independent record shop. I don’t know about the US but here in the UK there are less than 300 independent shops left for over 60 million people. Anything that damages their prospects for survival is sad; we’ll be left with only supermarkets retailing CDs and that’ll mean a choice of about 100 titles from the only the four big labels. And that will be shit. It’ll be beyond shit. It’ll be TV talent(less) show albums and shitty boy bands.

There are still many people who like to buy their music in vinyl or CD formats (even a few who like cassettes!) and it will be tragic if stupid decisions by big-label marketers help to destroy the very retail industry that is keeping them alive. The mainstream music industry seems to have a rule that if you’re a decision maker, you have to be a moron with no capacity for strategic thought whatsoever. They were a decade too late in responding to the arrival of the internet and now they seem to be choosing to cut off the last hand still feeding them. Maybe they deserve it but the music enthusiasts who keep all the indie stores going should not have to risk their livelihoods because of the greedy accountant dumbfucks who run the big labels.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 30, 2011 11:29 pm

    I’m sure some ‘entrepreneur’ is already making plans to pirate as many CD copies of these albums to sell in the ‘2 week window’ they’ve so kindly provided and introduce and alert a whole new bunch of fans to the fact they can have stuff without anything going back into the business, fans may I add who will certainly want ‘their favourite artists’ product as near as dammit to day 1 of release.
    I’m (facetiously) not quite sure this has been thought through particularly well, but it won’t matter to this ‘Rap Royalty’ because what they lose from ripped music, they’ll get back from their perfume range and clothes lines.
    Nice to know they care so much about the people that promoted them in their early days as well, dumb f**ks indeed.

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