Sunday, December 14, 2008
I read a great article over on CMT that was titled "Is Country Music Recession Proof?" by Chet Flippo (If you haven't ever read Nashville Skyline on CMT.com, I highly suggest it.) It really got me thinking about the issue....
In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the state of the economy, recession, loss of jobs, and the closing of large and small companies. It is a really scary time right now for so very many Americans. No matter what line of work you are in, you just never know what tomorrow will bring. It seems every sector of the economy is effected in someway.
I have not heard much discussion, however, how the music industry is being affected, more specifically country music. The sales are down, yes, howver, I am thinking that the lower sales in country music may not just because of economic issues. Yes, thats a part of it. However, I think there is a much deeper reason. Issues such as supply of albums, a departing from country tradition in the artists, and lack of new releases, at times.
Is it too early to tell what the impact is on the industry? Not really. The financial gods have spoken that this recession has been in force since last December (I know, really, breaking news for sure.) Now, it may be too early to see what impact there is from the most recent issues such as the automobile industry and all the layoffs in the past few weeks. However, overall, looking at the numbers, we should be able to see this impact already.
So, with that said, lets look at the numbers. Um, well, wait a minute, do I have access to the numbers to support one way or another? Well, sorta. The best information I can find is from October: In the end of the third quarter, country album sales were down 16.7 percent. Overall album sales were down 12 percent. So. It would take hours of reading financial reports and such to figure it out, and even then, I doubt I could grab just country music sales for each label and such easily. The effects of the recession are already being felt. Country is still thriving and alive. We may see some in the future an even slower pace of releasing albums, a few artists cuts, or something like that. Possibly even job cuts. Sure, just like any other industry in the United States right now.
Country music may be impacted, but in no way would country music go away. Country music is at the deepest roots of America. It is profitable, even with sales down. In times of hardship, I am willing to bet listening to country music may go up. They may not be buying as much, but listening to their already purchased collections. Remember, country music is about life. All aspects in life. From the happiest times to the saddest. Country music takes it all in. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and every emotion in between, I guarantee you, there is a song for it.
The roots are so strong in country music. Its rich history of past shows that the music survives, and I certainly believe it will always be around. Sure the business end of the business may feel a little rocky, but they pull on through.
One side note, if a friend or family member has lost their job, house, or whatever during these times, don't ever forget the power of music, specifically, country music. You just may make their day or light a fire in the soul to pick up their lives and start to move on...