Maybe the answer is a compromise that involves streaming music services. Bobby Owsinki opines in Forbes.
Just a quick look at album sales will tell you that increasingly we live in a music world where the single song is king and the album is feeling more and more unnecessary. According to the RIAA, album sales fell 11% last year after falling about the same amount the year before, and there’s no signs of a turnaround on the horizon.
The trend actually had its seeds way back in 1998 with the introduction of the MP3, then caught fire in 2003 with the launch of iTunes, as a fans everywhere rebelled against high-priced CD albums that were perceived to contain lots of filler material. After all, why pay for 10 songs when there’s only one that you want anyway?
Yet the album won’t die in the minds of artists, bands and record labels as we see more, not fewer, released every year, with the vast majority having virtually zero chance of ever being heard outside of the artist’s immediate circle of fans and friends. To many in the music business, you’re not a legit artist unless you’ve released an album, despite increasing evidence that the format is fast turning into a historical relic.
That said, just about every artist on the planet is also aware that to gain any traction in the music world at all, your music has to be on one or all of the streaming services, and that means you’re serving up singles, not albums.