Music Industry Is Declining

Recent years have seen a significant decline in the music industry, both in the originality and artistry of music, and in that the revenue the industry has brought in.

Creativity in popular music has been going downhill throughout the past few years.

Pop music, despite being quick to change from year to year, has always followed specific formulas and trends, catering mostly to top-40-radio listeners.

Even though these songs are popular and catchy, they often lack creativity, and are majorly the product of a few big-name producers, including Johan “Shellback” Schuster and Max Martin, who even told the popular musician Lorde that her new song, “Green Light,” was incorrectly written pop.

Although his comment was not meant to be an insult, it shows just how much recent music has become influenced and driven by logistics just as much as artistic power.

Jaidyn Makos, a junior at Dimond, said, “The music industry is full of a lot of repetitive stuff right now, and I’m not having any of it.”

Katelyn Dawson, a junior at Dimond, said, “Throughout the decades, people have become more dependent on music for not only happiness but also education.

“In recent works, today’s problems are being addressed, for example: suicide, racism, and our basic rights.

“Although, one may begin to notice the repetition throughout the many genres of music because all of the talent and originality are slowly dying.”

Fewer and fewer people actually buy their music each year, favoring streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, instead.

On top of that, physical copies of albums have also become increasingly harder to find, and many stores’ music sections have been getting smaller and smaller.

According to Rolling Stone, 2016 was the first year since 1986 that less than 100 million CDs were sold.

Vinyl LPs are one exception to this, since they have become a huge trend in the last few years and as Rolling Stone reported, made up a quarter of all the physical copies of music sold in 2016.

The rise of streaming services has had contrasting effects: first it brought down music sales, but now is the largest contributor to the music industry’s income.

Rolling Stone said in a recent article that streaming made up 51 percent of the industry’s revenue by 2015.

However, many streaming services do not pay artists adequate compensation for the steaming of their music.

Artists’ inadequate compensation for streams became a big issue, and caught the attention of Taylor Swift, whose “Apple Music letter” resulted in the company’s decision to compensate artists for streams of their songs during free-trials.

Access to free or paid subscription streaming has brought down both physical and digital music sales significantly.

However, a big part of this is that many young people do not necessarily have the means to buy music, so they use streaming services that are free instead.

Dawson said, “I buy music and use Spotify, if I don’t have enough money to buy the song, I use Spotify.”