The End Of The Music Charts?

It has been announced that UK record sales have hit the lowest weekly sales figure in over 627 weeks. Now, the industry and the media will have you thinking it a revolt against the big labels, the demise of talent and the end of the music business.

But more likely it's evidence of the growth of the new music business. The fast growning 'Streaming' model. Spotify and We7 lead the way, many will follow! You may be screaming 'NEVER' into you screen at this moment but it won't be long before we are watching and listing to Top 40 streaming charts on a Sunday afternoon.

That may sound odd, but let's be very clear, it'll be better for all of us. It will be more accurate and far more interesting. No longer will the public be forced to buy and listen to what the retailers chose, thus we can kiss goodbye to charts relating to albums sales calculated on marketing costs and more down to proper taste making charts where people are using and listening to music, any kind of music at any time in any place.

It's going to be a cooler chart, new bands that wouldn't survive in a physical world emerging through genuine word of mouth and good viral marketing. Far cheaper meaning far more opportunity.

Physical Music is dying, streaming and digital have won the hearts and minds of the masses, but after all this, I'd like to say I am old school! I still like to pick up and LP or a CD and put it on, but I also love the visual loveliness of iTunes and it's Apple lossless encoding. Spotify is getting better and better but when it comes to audio quality alone I just can't seem to let the past go and embrace the new technology with open arms (yet I have with LoveFilm and now with Gigseen)

Today, alot of my colleagues moan about paying a tenner for a CD then pay twice that to own it on vinyl. I remember days when people thought (and I am going back a bit) that LP's were getting 'expensive' at £8, now they are £19.99 and flying off the shelves. Other colleagues hate more than anything else spending £7.99 and getting a few files in their itunes window! You can't please everybody that's for sure. But one thing is for sure, outlets for such things are going to survive online, music is a deliverable item for the future, it's no longer the experience of shopping for it. Although sad and predictable, in hindsight, it's great news that music is never black and white, so long live the physical product and the stores that support it (the independent record store in this case.)

But once streaming and download become the norm we'll go back to a more interesting musical world, more variety, more choice, more knowledge.

But as it stands right now we left with four parties (LP,CD, streaming and download) and nobody can agree on anything, sounds like politics doesn't it!