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"The Album is Dead" - Mark Cuban

Posted by: Adrian Villagomez (01/18/08)
Mark Cuban does his best Jason Tate impersonation by weighing in on some music industry ideas and addressing the dismal state of the album.
      
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 44
05:33 AM on 01/18/08
#2
smeguy
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I really hate when people make really big, bold statements that are also generalizations. "The Album Is Dead" is such a stupid thing to say. I mean, sure, to the majority of America, the album is dead. Look at iTunes! People are more concerned with a "song" instead of an "album." However, there is certainly enough interest in buying albums (CD and LP) to keep many record stores across the USA alive. When I go to a show, I don't want buy a song I want to buy an album.
Also, wouldn't buying twelve 99 cent songs add up to a lot more than paying 9.99 (digitally) or less (used CD store?) cost more? I mean, I'm not a math wizard by any means, I dropped math this year... but still. It makes more sense to save up for a couple week, and then be able to afford a bunch of songs. Sometimes people truly make "albums" where you can listen to them all the way through. I don't think that's dead. I mean, Portugal. The Man just released that It's Complicated Being a Wizard record a year or so ago? I Bought it, and i find myself enjoying a listen through the whole thing far more than listening to any of the individual songs.
Even if commercially, the mainstream culture is not interested in albums as a format (LP or CD), the album as a concept is still alive and well. Vinyl is certainly making a comeback and even though it may not be POPULAR (I'd rather purchase things on CD than on Vinyl 9 times out of 10, although I do like the larger album artwork that comes with vinyl), it doesn't mean that it is DEAD.
05:36 AM on 01/18/08
#3
kouphax
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I have only skimmed the article but I dunno maybe it's just me but this whole idea of committing to release music on a regular basis and releasing single songs at a time sounds really backward to me. For one many musicians see music as an artform and they really wouldn;t want to produce songs on demand. Some songs take seconds to write some take weeks, months, years. Having to produce music to a schedule would result in many inferior works swamping the market. Secondly I don't want to spend 2 weeks listening to just one song waiting for another. I want to absorb an album as a whole, I need more than one song at a time or else I get very bored very quickly. An album has more body, more diversity and that appeals to me - I never listne to samplers or myspace singles it ruins the experience for me.

James.
05:38 AM on 01/18/08
#4
kouphax
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That said, physical media has been dead for a long time. Although I love artwork, lyrics etc I can eaily live without it. The music is the meat of an album for me and CD's are medium that I no longer use except to rip from and give to a charity shop.

James
05:43 AM on 01/18/08
#5
bhs1158
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I agree from a purely monetary standpoint that it could make more sense to release individual songs one at a time, especially for musicians and/or record companies, but destroying the concept of the album seems blasphemous. I couldn't imagine how different my life would be had I not been able to listen to a group of songs as one collective. Bands and musicians have already provided advance "leaks" to stream albums or put up a different individual track weekly in order to allow people to preview songs before they just throw down $10-20 for the album.
05:56 AM on 01/18/08
#6
Poochemist
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I really hate when people make really big, bold statements that are also generalizations. "The Album Is Dead" is such a stupid thing to say. I mean, sure, to the majority of America, the album is dead. Look at iTunes! People are more concerned with a "song" instead of an "album." However, there is certainly enough interest in buying albums (CD and LP) to keep many record stores across the USA alive. When I go to a show, I don't want buy a song I want to buy an album.
Also, wouldn't buying twelve 99 cent songs add up to a lot more than paying 9.99 (digitally) or less (used CD store?) cost more? I mean, I'm not a math wizard by any means, I dropped math this year... but still. It makes more sense to save up for a couple week, and then be able to afford a bunch of songs. Sometimes people truly make "albums" where you can listen to them all the way through. I don't think that's dead. I mean, Portugal. The Man just released that It's Complicated Being a Wizard record a year or so ago? I Bought it, and i find myself enjoying a listen through the whole thing far more than listening to any of the individual songs.
Even if commercially, the mainstream culture is not interested in albums as a format (LP or CD), the album as a concept is still alive and well. Vinyl is certainly making a comeback and even though it may not be POPULAR (I'd rather purchase things on CD than on Vinyl 9 times out of 10, although I do like the larger album artwork that comes with vinyl), it doesn't mean that it is DEAD.

I wish you would have actually read what he was talking about. Then again, Mark Cuban shouldn't have picked such a bold title. He is focusing on the excitement that comes from new releases, and the possibility of that excitement coming from a series of individual song releases. Essentially, you'd be "killing" the album, but still producing songs at the similar rate.

I have only skimmed the article but I dunno maybe it's just me but this whole idea of committing to release music on a regular basis and releasing single songs at a time sounds really backward to me. For one many musicians see music as an artform and they really wouldn;t want to produce songs on demand. Some songs take seconds to write some take weeks, months, years. Having to produce music to a schedule would result in many inferior works swamping the market. Secondly I don't want to spend 2 weeks listening to just one song waiting for another. I want to absorb an album as a whole, I need more than one song at a time or else I get very bored very quickly. An album has more body, more diversity and that appeals to me - I never listne to samplers or myspace singles it ruins the experience for me.

James.

I agree. While Mark does pose an interesting possibility for the music industry, I hope it doesn't come to that. I still get excited about album releases, maybe because I don't typically download leaked material. But I do realize the industry has to evolve, and it sounds like it would be an interesting step to serialize music. And with regards to bands swamping the market with inferior works, well, I'm pretty sure we already have that in album form.
06:19 AM on 01/18/08
#7
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Real music lovers will not let the album died.

Without even reading the artical you can tell this guys an idiot.
06:31 AM on 01/18/08
#8
sevinw0rds
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This is about all I needed to know about this man's opinion:

"In reality thats exactly how I buy my music right now. I dont do it by artist. I go to ITunes and I go through the top 10 lists and listen to samples and thats how I determine what music im going to buy."

On that note, how in the hell are most artists supposed to find time to tour and promote their work if they're continually releasing new music rather than working on a unified product that showcases where they are musically at that point in time? This whole article honestly made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
06:32 AM on 01/18/08
#9
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Real music lovers will not let the album died.

Without even reading the artical you can tell this guys an idiot.

Right.
06:55 AM on 01/18/08
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Real music lovers will not let the album died.

Without even reading the artical you can tell this guys an idiot.

you obviously have no idea who "this guy" is so don't even worry about it
07:05 AM on 01/18/08
Until The Bombs
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With all the success that Cuban has had in virtually all of his endeavors, I wouldn't take his suggestions to lightly. Sure he could be wrong, but he is a very innovative thinker. His success with the Mavericks goes far beyond just putting a good team on the court, he has also made many very smart business decisions with the teams in terms of marketing, etc.

I really hate when people make really big, bold statements that are also generalizations. "The Album Is Dead" is such a stupid thing to say. I mean, sure, to the majority of America, the album is dead.

Obviously the point of Cuban's generalization was to attract attention, that's what headlines do. But if to the majority of America the album is dead as you say, then in essence, isn't the album dead?

I have only skimmed the article but I dunno maybe it's just me but this whole idea of committing to release music on a regular basis and releasing single songs at a time sounds really backward to me. For one many musicians see music as an artform and they really wouldn;t want to produce songs on demand. Some songs take seconds to write some take weeks, months, years. Having to produce music to a schedule would result in many inferior works swamping the market. Secondly I don't want to spend 2 weeks listening to just one song waiting for another. I want to absorb an album as a whole, I need more than one song at a time or else I get very bored very quickly. An album has more body, more diversity and that appeals to me - I never listne to samplers or myspace singles it ruins the experience for me.

James.


In a way, Playradioplay! recently addressed this issue on here in an earlier news thread


The old corporate machine and I are trying to think of some ways for me to be constantly releasing new material, even after this record comes out. I have so much stuff sitting around, demos, covers, b sides, since I do everything at my own house. You're going to hear a lot of it this year, I promise. And it's good stuff.

I would hate to see the album go, but I do find something appealing about artists possibly releasing say two or three EPs a year as opposed to one album. The EPs could all be recorded in one session just like an album, but still released at different times. One issue would be how to market the EPs though. Obviously you wouldn't put the same marketing push (expense wise) behind each EP as you would one album, but for established artists, with a dedicated fan base, the internet makes it much cheaper to do so. With more and more people joining social network sites like myspace and friending artists, something as simple as myspace bulletins could be used to inform fans than a new EP will be released. And unlike commericals, or magazine ads, this form of advertising would be marketed directly at the artist's fans.

This may be be were the future lies. No more superstar artists. Instead artists who maintain a career will do so by keeping costs down like in areas like marketing, and the marketing dollars that are spent will be better invested because they will be aimed directly at the people who are likely to buy the artist's work and only those people.
07:06 AM on 01/18/08
Until The Bombs
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Without even reading the artical you can tell this guys an idiot.

Haha. Only an idiot would make a statement like that.
07:09 AM on 01/18/08
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when it comes to artists like flor-rida, i don't think they could come up with that many singles. an artist like that usually has maybe 2 or 3 and they are released every few months to try and drag out a career. if a single is selling 450,000 singles - why would you want to throw out the next one a week later?
it doesn't make sense, even in this day and age


his idea does address the need everyone seems to have - you gotta hear a song the second it comes out, to always hear something new and fresh and first. getting a new song every week instead of 10 all at once could help extend the life of a cd for some artists. even if the cd is great, people usually aren't still excited about it 10 weeks after the release, they've moved on to something else.
but im sure it would just frustrate other people

interesting idea though. at least HE is thinking out of the box
07:20 AM on 01/18/08
bluetoes
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For one many musicians see music as an artform and they really wouldn;t want to produce songs on demand. Some songs take seconds to write some take weeks, months, years. Having to produce music to a schedule would result in many inferior works swamping the market.
James.

i don't think the artist would be writing and recording a song every two weeks, i think the entire set of songs would be written (more or less, maybe not the last few songs) and just released one at a time


which would allow for another benefit, an artist could release more current songs.

instead of having to release a whole album they probably wrote two or three years ago, maybe their 5th single could of been written 5 weeks ago when the first single was coming out, either way they could manipulate the releases so they reflected their current sound
07:41 AM on 01/18/08
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I wish you would have actually read what he was talking about. Then again, Mark Cuban shouldn't have picked such a bold title. He is focusing on the excitement that comes from new releases, and the possibility of that excitement coming from a series of individual song releases. Essentially, you'd be "killing" the album, but still producing songs at the similar rate.



I agree. While Mark does pose an interesting possibility for the music industry, I hope it doesn't come to that. I still get excited about album releases, maybe because I don't typically download leaked material. But I do realize the industry has to evolve, and it sounds like it would be an interesting step to serialize music. And with regards to bands swamping the market with inferior works, well, I'm pretty sure we already have that in album form.


Thanks for saving me some time in dealing with that response.

I think its an interesting comparison between music and TV. Why does the TV release schedule work? What would happen if a whole season came out all on one day? Viewership would probably decline as not everyone could take it all in at once.

I think the most interesting part of Cuban's article is his closing:

"Consumser are buying music 1 track at a time. I think people will pay 99c to get a single rather than steal it. I think people would rather steal a full album rather than pay 10 dollars or more for it."

I've bought lots of "singles" on itunes, but only one whole album. I've bought several songs that came out on Itunes before the album was released, simply because I couldn't wait to hear it. Maybe creating a release schedule like this would keep people wanting more. If buyers commit to the schedule, the music business will likely to sell more (fewer albums, but more legal purchases, only pennies a day!). Who knows if people would actually commit to that. But who can't rationalize paying .99 cents for a new song every couple of weeks. $10 upfront is a little bit harder
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