For decades music industry talking heads have done everything in their power to let the world know this industry is on its death bed. When television took over radio…music was dying. When 8 track tapes were all the rage…music was dying. When CDs emerged victorious over cassettes and LPs…music was dying.
How many times can Goliath fake his own death and come out victorious? Apparently you can survive your own demise quite nicely when you are making up the rules. Seems to me the music biz itself created LPs, 8 track tapes, cassettes, and the CD format. This industry has contributed significantly to the technology to make downloads, um, illegal.
A few years after CDs became the format de jour, Soundscan came on the scene to legitimize retail sales for the record charts. This New York Times article explains the history and the need for the Soundscan chart; and how the industry manipulates the process of using it as a fair practice tool: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/25/arts/are-pop-charts-manipulated.html?pagewanted=2
Fast forward into the 21st century when record labels and recording industry organizations are suing their own customers and the decline of recorded music is on the tip of every wagging tongue. Soundscan reports that CD sales continue to plummet year after year. But is that really true?
It is if you happen to be a major label.
With every touring artist on the planet owning their own label, one has to ask: Do indies report their sales to Soundscan? If not, aren’t millions of CD sales going unreported to the very charts that show the pulse and overall health of the industry?
What if indie sales were reported? Would that make a difference collectively in the overall performance of the industry? Most certainly it would make a significant difference showing the major labels what powerful numbers the indies hold jointly. But where can the indies report without having to pay the annual Soundscan fee?
The answer is there isn’t a place for indies to report their sales without a hefty annual fee. But what if there was such a place? Would indies use it to legitimize their sales numbers?
Please leave a comment and let me know if you would use such a service. Scout is prepared to become the first indie outlet for reported CD/download sales.