Friday, November 18, 2005

A music industry standard

For those of you not attached to the music industry here is a little fact you may or may not know.

As we near the holiday season most record labels (both big and small) put a halt to releasing new records. From this point on (Turkey Day) until the end of January a label will traditionally sit on new artists releases because they tend to get lost in the holiday shuffle. Instead labels want to direct music fans towards their key older catalog releases, box sets, greatest hits, and yes there will always be the usual proper holiday albums. Country stars and top 40 types love to cash in with their own versions "Little Drummer Boy" and the likes.

This constricted flow of new releases in turn slims down the number of records to review. I don't know the exact ratio but roughly there might be 300+ new records a week to possibly run a review of (in the world of PFM friendly music) and as we approach December this number could shrink down to something more like 50 records a week. The closer the year creeps towards its demise,the less records are released. That 50 could shrink down to 5.

There will never be a shortage of music to review but this standard music industry holiday season new release policy / holding pattern has a ripple affect. Less records to review can translate into a creative shift in magazine and website review policies. Records released several months ago may finally get some attention or there also might be curveball reviews of artists outside a genre one would typically expect from a place like PFM.

Over and Out.