The recently published newspaper articles that disclosed the dramatic decline in sales of Reggae and Dancehall music CDs in North America have sent some shock waves through the Jamaican music fraternity. Comments and responses following these publications have reflected a range of emotions – from serious cause for concern, to no surprise. I do think there is definitely need for deeper and more critical analysis of the situation.
I think the articles failed to point out that all music genres suffered from dramatic reductions in CD sales in 2009, which is a mere reflection of the trend in recent years, as the music industry transforms itself from one based on the sale of physical products to one based on digital delivery of music via downloads, ringtones and online streaming. One of the questions we should ask is whether the local and international Reggae music communities are doing enough to make the necessary adjustment to the new delivery mechanisms to offset the inevitable demise of the CD format.
The second issue we should confront is whether or not the Reggae and Dancehall music genres are losing their global market appeal. Reggae music has built a massive level of global respect over many decades due primarily to the work of artists who project images and messages of unity, peace, justice and
- I am an entertainment attorney and music business consultant with over 25 years experience in areas such as intellectual property law, entertainment contracts, event planning and artist management. My activities include international recording, music publishing, performance and media contract negotiations, lecture presentations and arts and entertainment industry research. Co-founder and former vice-chairman of Grove Broadcasting Company/IRIE FM, the world