Monday, 23 February 2004

End of an era?

Reports today say that WH Smith are going to stop selling CD singles. Great. The record industry shoots themselves in the foot* and now all is going to hell in a handbag. Problem is, there are now fewer and fewer places to get the last great bastion of the UK record industry.

The US phased out the single years ago and their record market is crap to say the least. All you get are albums. No great lost b-sides or killer remixes (yes, not all remixes are great, but sometimes a single can be retuned as a Radio Mix into something quite special) and those who do want them have to pay a King's Ransom for the UK/EU imports.

Where this leaves everything is still up in the air, but one thing is sure, if the downturn in sales don't kill off the single, the lack of support by retailers definitely will.

Not a good day.

* other reports which list loads of problems the record industry have got themselves into state that the decline of the single can be traced back to radio sourcing singles up to 6 weeks before a track is released in the shops. A large percentage of people who would buy it have, at that point, heard it to death and don't want it.

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