Solutions For The Labels

CD sales are down again. Legal downloads are up but not as much as in the past. Labels are getting hooked on ring tone sales to help make up for the short fall in CD sales. Music is as stale as the latest innovative idea from a big four label. Desperation is setting in as labels try to get more merchandising rights in artist contracts. Even hit albums are not dominating the charts. Big artists start with big sales and then decline rapidly. Christmas sales figures are not in, of course, but barring the unforeseen, it will be another down year for record labels and trouble aplenty ahead. Here are some good ideas I've heard to turn things around: Lower the retail price of CDs to $9.99 now and compete with iTunes. Faced with owning the CD or paying $9.99 for an album download with lots more digital rights management restrictions, CDs should benefit. Lower the price of digital downloads. I know, you think I'm nuts. I've seen research that shows consumers would greatly increase their legal music purchases. But offer the lower download prices only on label websites. Leave iTunes at 99 cents. Be careful of YouTube and MySpace. Think of them as "radio" not profit centers. And, one more thing, although there's still a lot of good pop music around there still isn't as much as there should be to drive demand. Spend some money to find the next big trend. Listen to your gut not your lawyer. I'm just saying.