New Year, New Jam, and New News…

Alliteration in the title can only mean one thing: Nothing. It doesn’t mean anything. What the title does mean nevertheless is the site is relaunched to be a bit more personal and to look nicer. Going to continue play around with the settings and logo until it hits the right look.

In general, the idea is to do something more blog worthy, with a smidgen of opinion to open up articles up for discussion. The schedule hopefully will be a daily post of news or content, ie a featured set of songs, a weekly feature and a weekly review. In an attempt to be productive and organised in my life it seemed logical; and as arbitrary dates are concerned appropriately fitting; to relaunch, to restyle and generally find array in the dis…array.

In the meantime I thought I’d also post some actual music related news. Straight from the horse’s mouth – the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) published it’s annual end of year report that can be read here.

The two biggest points that stood out are the level of streams and the revenue it has allegedly generated (more on that), and more importantly the 101% increase in vinyl sales. Staggering units of vinyl have been shifted and has more than doubled, from the article is this short paragraph

Vinyl continues its revival, with just over 780,000 LP albums sold in 2013, Official Charts Company figures reveal – up 101 per cent on 2012 and over 270 per cent on five years ago.

This is the largest annual total in over 15 years (in 1997 817,000 LP units were sold).  Vinyl 7″ singles were up 34 per cent on last year and sales of 12″ singles rose 60 per cent on 2012.
The vinyl format, whilst still popular with some baby-boomers, increasingly also appeals to an engaged audience of younger artists and consumers alike, who appreciate its iconic heritage as part of Rock and Pop culture.  The format’s profile and sales have also been driven by the success of annual events such as Record Store Day.

It is interesting they have highlighted the ever popular Record Store Day as one of the sources of increase. There are several other factors to consider: The Loudness Wars (Generally Vinyl records are less compressed and people are excited for these dynamic sounding mixes), how collectable vinyl is as a format, the intimacy and ’emotional’ response, as well as nostalgia. In a draft feature that should be on for the end of the week I’ll explore the resurgence of vinyl and the argument of digital formats vs analogue.

Secondly, streaming helped pushed the overall revenue to over £1billion. Now, whilst that is good for the general industry and shows that it may be a sustainable and easier way to beat piracy, it negates to explore how the money is divided up. A lot of criticism has been mounted by artists and musicians alike about how Spotify, Grooveshark, Deezer, and others distribute the wealth of plays. There is a suggestion that the artists themselves are grossly underpaid, particularly ‘underground’ artists who cannot at the moment by sustained by streaming revenue alone. It is worth having a discussion about how sustainable streaming will be in the long run and how it will change the course of the music industry in the next few years.

For now, over and out.