2014 Trend Prediction #2 - The End of the Album

When Albums Ruled the World Those that know me are aware how my thoughts become consumed by the release of a new Britney Spears album. What many don’t realize is that I also I find myself interested by the trend of album sales in general and what they mean for the music industry.

Album sales are declining; this is no surprise to anyone. Icons like Britney Spears find themselves content with selling even a fraction of what they would have ten years ago. 2013 was a year that held such promise in terms of pop music sales with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears all having heavily hyped releases. With every one of these albums underperforming one must ask what is next for the album.

An article released by Variety magazine hits the nail on the head “In what kind of screwed up world do we live in where Katy Perry’s new album “Prism” sells only 287,000 copies in its debut? One in which everybody’s interested in the single, and no one’s got time to sit and hear your hour-plus statement.” if your plan is to increase your audience, spread the word and make money, suddenly the album just isn’t working anymore.” – Variety

I-Tunes, Pandora, and Spotify have all played a large role in the shift of album sales and how people are listening to music. But on a deeper level the text crazed, RT frenzied, vevo clicking nature of our society now has taken on such an ADD mindset that one cannot be surprised this is happening. No one wants album tracks anymore unless they’re every bit as satisfying as the hit. People are addicted to the rush of a quick stimulation and the next big thing to bring it. It’s almost as if culture is screaming “just release another single, if we don’t like it we will forget in three weeks”.

The first big pop artist to completely forego an album in favor of singles will heartily reap the fruits of their minimal labor. Because to quote Variety again “The goal of a musician is to be AHEAD of the audience. Right now everybody is behind”. Just tweet it out and let us do the rest.

Michael Corrigan Account Supervisor

NOTE - This blog was written before Beyonce stunned the world with her release.