A thought on the RIAA's situation of decreasing sales...
They say it's P2P software cutting in on their market. (It's increased the number of CD's I buy personally.)
Others say it's a lack of anything worth buying. (Quality of new music, increasing prices for CD's, etc. CD's averaged $12.99 in 1995 and $14.99 in 2004. What happened to "They'll get cheaper as we can make them cheaper"?)
A few say that it's the end of people getting on CD what they had on Vinyl.
Following the trends in retail sales overall shows that their decrease is better than most other markets.
I just realized yet another possible reason.
Lack of useful advertising.
Those commercials that are all over TV for albums? I find them silly, and they tell me that "Band you've kinda heard of has released a NEW ALBUM! BUY IT NOW!"
That's a commercial. I don't want to buy a commercial, I buy a copy of music for me to listen to. And thinking back to when I was younger, what really drove the popularity of songs?
What killed the old-school radio star?
Video did. (That's right, Ahmet.)
And with MTV concentrating more on their reality shows, movies, game shows, and basically anything but music, and VH1 showing mostly retrospectives and biographies on their main station, that means that your average basic cable subscriber gets two types of videos: Rap/R&B and Country (BET and CMT around here)
And what are the two genres that are catching up to Rock right now? Rap and Urban. And Country isn't far behind, despite it's own decline. (I'd like to see those numbers in units as opposed to percentages.)
I put forth, and perhaps someone with access to better raw numbers than I can either back my hypothesis up or drop it outright, that MTV and VH1 banishing Rock music videos to their secondary stations are the responsible party for the RIAA only shipping $11.4 Billion worth of product last year. Maybe the RIAA should be suing them instead of 12-year-olds?