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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK


Record label boss predicts end of music industry

The boss of Oasis's record label, Alan McGee, has predicted the end of the music industry as it is known today within the next decade.

And one of the prime causes of the changes, the Creation Records' chief says, is that fans will choose to download music via the Internet instead of going to record shops and buying CDs.

Mr McGee, who was formerly a high-profile supporter of Tony Blair, said there was a revolution going on in the music industry, which would result in there being no record companies within the next five or ten years' time.

[ image: Noel Gallagher. Oasis buoyed music industry, but now it is suffering]
Noel Gallagher. Oasis buoyed music industry, but now it is suffering
His comments come at a time of increasing concern over the health of the British music industry. Writing in NME, which has devoted its current issue to the subject of what it calls 'The Rock 'n' roll Dwindle', Mr McGee said the record industry "is in total crisis, nobody's buying records".

Figures from the British Phonographic Industry show that monthly sales of singles have decreased in volume by 6.3% from 1997 to 1998. Album sales have been dropping steadily since September 1996.

According to Mr McGee, the situation has a number of causes. He blames:

  • A lack of investment in new talent in the 1980s

  • A lack of anything to get excited about in modern pop music. The man who discovered Oasis said: "When I ask people what they think of the music scene, they say it's a dilution of a dilution of a dilution."

  • Music lacking an ideological point of view. "It's not central to people's existence in the way that punk or acid house were," he said.

  • Radio 1's playlist had been "incredibly pop" recently, he said.

Despite the renaissance in pop music that was experienced with so-called Britpop bands such as Oasis, Mr McGee said no-one was selling many records now.

Worldwide recession

"There's a worldwide recession in the music industry. They might be all smiley-smiley at the Brits, but it's an industry in absolute crisis."

However, Mr McGee does not see the influence of the Internet as a bad thing, and believes it could help the growth of music in the future, with less marketing, and cheaper records.

"It'll be healthier because it'll be realistic," he said.

The comments come after a spate of poor ticket sales for concerts, including the Phoenix Festival and the Universe '98 dance music festival.

And two outdoor shows at London's Finsbury Park have been cancelled. A concert by the Lighthouse Family sold less than 1,000 of its 25,000 tickets in the first few weeks on sale.

A show by New Order the next day had to be pulled because it would have been uneconomical to put on just one concert.

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