Sales of albums by contemporary musicians have been falling for years, but
what the industry calls deep catalog albums (more than 3 years old) have
making a comeback, with their sales soaring 104.2% from 2005 to 2006.
been a boon for Avalon and other older artists.
As more music becomes available digitally, semi-obscure artists are finding
they have devoted fans. On Rhapsody, for instance, Top 100 artists produce only
25% of the songs played, said Tim Quirk, Rhapsody's vice president for music
content and programming.In contrast, nearly half of retail store sales are
generated by that elite group. Less popular artists get playtime too — 90% of
the 195,200 artists on Rhapsody are played at least once a month.
This is not a story about Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
This is a story of the survial of the music industry, and issues that the industry should have addressed a decade ago.
Every work of recorded music should be available without DRM from a variety of competitive retailers on the web for 50 cents each, with higher-resolution, surround, etc., versions for more. And these should be available for playing on subscription-streaming services.
The income from lapsed-artists like Frankie Avalon and Fabian, and from works that have fallen into the public domain, can help fund the development of new music, so music, and it's industry, can have a future.
Every work recorded over the last century+ has value.