“Along with YouTube, Vevo has proved there is huge demand for music videos online, especially when they are offered for free, supported by ads. A model that provokes some controversy for pure streaming music has been less contentious when it comes to videos – perhaps because the number of videos sold beforehand was too low to justify cannibalisation fears.
“An important trend for Vevo this year has been its evolution beyond pure music videos, and into more of a programming role, streaming gigs and offering music-focused shows to its online audience. Who could have predicted that the MTV of the Web 2.0 age would be part-owned by the major labels? Actually, maybe it wasn’t such a hard prediction, given the way many rightsholders feel they missed out on revenues when the first MTV originally launched.”
“The latest round of musical chairs comes as recorded music sales continued a plunge that began in 2004. Moving into the fourth quarter of 2010, album sales were down 13%, according to Nielsen SoundScan; if holiday purchases don’t generate an uptick, this year’s drop could beat the 12.7% downturn of 2009. The bottom fell out of the CD market years ago, but digital downloads, a growth market in recent years, began to stall in 2010. Total track sales are virtually flat to date this year vs. a gain of 12% last year, according to figures recently published by Billboard.
“In terms of music’s valuation, it was a case of “how low can you go” this year, as Amazon.com’s Daily Deal pricing of hot new albums at $3.99 lofted some titles like Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” to the top of the charts.
“The concert business, which boomed in 2009 despite the country’s ongoing economic instability, was looked upon as the one area of the music sector that would be recession-proof in 2010. It was amid a confident afterglow that the long-pending merger of concert promotion, venue and management giant Live Nation and ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster was completed in January.
“Within months of the formation of the new Live Nation Entertainment entity, the touring market collapsed, as major treks by acts including U2, Christina Aguilera and the Eagles were either postponed or scaled back.”