…for this article, in which he describes sales of the #1 classical album as peanuts, and suggests that American artists might want to skip the country to somewhere they would be better appreciated. I left a comment on his blog, but he hasn’t published it. Luckily I have a blog of my own:
This is a complete distortion of the facts that counts on your readers not having read the IFPI report from which you’ve taken figures without clear attribution or proper explanation.
You’re using flawed logic and innuendo to predict the death of the industry, and you either haven’t read the report or you’re knowingly omitting facts that greatly undermine your position.
If you looked at the figures for the total size of the markets, you’d see that although classical represents a large proportion of the music sold in South Korea, the market is a rather smaller one.
You say that classical music doesn’t sell in the United States, when in fact the US and Japan remain the two largest markets for classical recordings.
If you were to look at last week’s Soundscan top 100, you’d see that crossover represents less than 1/3 of the music in it, with that share declining the further down the chart you looked.
2.5% seems like a small number, but Soundscan tells us that 373.9m albums were sold last year in the US*. 2.5% of that is 9.3m classical albums. If a third of them were crossover, that’s still 6m real classical albums.
Since the albums in the Billboard chart account for such a small percentage of these sales, the story you should be writing is about the diversity and vitality of our business – about the wonderful records that are still being made that never see the top ten, and about the innovation that is helping many companies to remain profitable in a tough economic climate.
Instead, you’re crying wolf again and dancing on the graves of the living in the process. You can do better than this.
He sent me an email back, boasting about his experience and connections, but clarifying nothing about the statistics, and threatening consequences if I published what he’d written. He has, though, published a milder rebuttal from Eric Dingman at EMI Classics.
If anybody wants to tell me I’m wrong in a smugly superior tone, that’s what the comments are for – this is the Internet, after all.