Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

General discussion about Pink Floyd.
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Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by space triangle »

Studio Albums 169,600,000

Other LPs 52,025,000

Physical Singles 8,800,000

Digital Singles 23,360,000


https://chartmasters.org/2017/10/best-s ... l-time/18/
Last edited by twcc on Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Note, physical data is from 18 June 2017 and streaming data from 09 September 2020
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by Annoying Twit »

I think it's interesting that about 10% of the total sales are digital singles. Clearly the music is continuing to sell.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by space triangle »

^^^

Yeah, Classic bands from the 70's still sale very good, in the digital form.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I once read that one in four households in England owned a copy of Dark Side, and that it was on the charts for so long, many of the sales were from people replacing their worn out vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes...

But it's hard to grasp how sales are tracked now - a certain number of streams is considered to be one "sale", but I pay a monthly subscription fee and listen to whatever I want. Depending on which device I'm using, I may not be streaming at all, but listening to the downloaded file - and depending on what software I'm playing the file with, it may or may not track how many times I play it.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by space triangle »

ZiggyZipgun wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:36 am ...many of the sales were from people replacing their worn out vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes...
And also The Dark Side Of The Moon was a ideal album to test your new hi-fi system in the 70s. That was one of the reasons for so many copies of DSOTM sold.
ZiggyZipgun wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:36 amand that it was on the charts for so long
Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ Is Now The First Album To Spend 950 Weeks On The Billboard 200

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcinty ... board-200/
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by scarecrow »

The physical singles figure is clearly a mistake? Should it be 8m?!

I wouldn't be all that surprised if Arnold Layne had only sold a few thousand copies (I think accepted that it was bribed into the charts?) but Another Brick in the Wall pt2 would have sold quite a lot to reach number one in the UK (at that point)...

According to wiki, it sold about 4m worldwide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Brick_in_the_Wall
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by scarecrow »

Ah, I followed the link, yes 8.8m singles...
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by Hadrian »

Predictions are that only streaming will eventually remain, and that the final form of it will be free for users, paying artists the equivalent of radio royalties based on user playtime. All of it will be ad free of course, streaming companies will generate profit from selling our user data, just like Facebook does for many years now. For tracking purposes a formula for the equivalent of a sale will be kept (100 streams = 1 sale of the entire release, whatever it might be, a single song or an album etc.). Nobody can see beyond streaming, but fair financial compensation remains an open question. I am sceptical that we will see another Nick Mason collecting vintage cars via this model anytime soon, actually I am yet to see people getting enough to put food on the table with it, but hopefully it will improve.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

As far as making a living, the market bubble burst a long time ago. Companies used to throw money at anyone who looked like The Beatles. (Rick Wright: "The trouble with Oasis is, I've heard John Lennon and I've heard The Beatles, and they are rather better than Oasis.") The playing field for artists is now level; the odds of supporting yourself as songwriter is about the same or as if you were a painter, and those odds aren't good. Now the full-length album is expected to disappear. With pop, hip-hop, and country as the only genres that actual record labels are still willing to invest in, they no longer want to spend money recording and producing ten songs if listeners are only going to buy or stream five of them. Songs longer than ten minutes can't be sold as singles, which is why The Endless River's four "movements" were split up further; Bowie also trimmed down his Blackstar title track just enough to get around that. Vinyl has made something of a comeback, but if the albums were shorter, the available sound quality on vinyl would be much better. Either way, there isn't much money to be made. Well-known bands with fairly large audiences have been able to simply charge exponentially more for concert tickets, but that won't work for emerging artists. A lot of bands that were very successful in the '90s have burned through that money; Gilmour auctioned off his surplus guitars for charity, but Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, and others auctioned theirs off to pay bills. Recently.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by scarecrow »

Sure, but 'music culture' (ie all the people around the world making music, rather than the music industry) is doing fine at the moment. I think Bandcamp is a pretty good platform - and the vast majority of people using it to promote their music aren't troubled by any of those sort of trends. I don't see any threat of the album disappearing - as a means for musicians to group together a batch of work into a longer whole.

Neither are niche online radio platforms (I like stuff like NTS or Noods Radio) much troubled by the industry sort of concerns you mention. 6music is OK but tends toward the bland, especially with it's daytime content.

Obviously bands don't get to be part of the cultural zeitgeist in quite the same way, in terms of level of popularity and impacting on wider culture - potentially being a 'soundtrack' for the decade, there couldn't be a DSOTM equivalent in this era, but then again a much larger number of people get to have a platform to trade their wares.

I tend to feel there have been fewer songs entering the 'canon' since the turn of the milennium... stuff people play if sitting around a campfire etc... but then maybe that's also my age...

I reckon a UBI and good level of arts council type funding for music recording, touring, venue support etc would be the most useful way to go. But yes agree, the sort of record company long-term investment which happened from maybe 1970s-1990s, and expectations of huge return on the investment has been fading away for quite a while already.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I'm not sure how much has changed in the past five years, but this topic always reminds me of Geoff Barrow of Portishead's famous tweet:

34,000,000 streams Income After tax = £1700 Thank U @apple @YouTube @Spotify especially @UMG_News for selling our music so cheaply.
— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) April 13, 2015

That's a rough estimate of my income from the streams

— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) April 13, 2015
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by scarecrow »

Yeah, and Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500) has also written a quite in-depth analysis of Spotify too. I think what Bandcamp offer gives a lot more ownership and control to the producers (albeit with a different sort of functionality), and I think the Bandcamp Daily columns offer useful curation/ music journalism, often dipping into local scenes in depth.

Iggy Pop's John Peel lecture also springs to mind as useful analysis... his conclusion iirc being that the default is for musicians to be ripped off one way or the other, whether it's by record companies or consumers.

I think the problem now is a lot of people expect such stuff to be free (same goes for TV, movies etc). I remember Barrow's complaint about Spotify... I think there's a spectrum of opinion amongst musicians - personally it's not something I can get very worked up about. I'm not altogether convinced with the premise of paying/ being renumerated for each listen, whether by radio, via venues/ restaurants etc paying PRS, online radio, streaming etc.

I suppose Spotify probably did launch itself with some amount of ethical hype - that it was better for artists than illegally downloading stuff, so good on Geoff Barrow for calling them out on this, I guess.

I tend to draw a line with live gigs, which I think bands should be properly paid for...

I would say that Gilmour and Mason seem to generally approach interviews etc with an admirable humility/ self-deprecation. Gilmour seems aware of his status as a guitarist who is very good at doing a few particular things, but I think they both err on the side of being proud of what they've made whilst not considering it a thousand times better or more important than what anyone else is doing.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

From an interview in Der Spiegel, circa 1995:

SPIG: Your tour, which is now being documented on CD, was one of which earned more than $100 million in 1994. With sums being this big, does money still have any appeal to you?

DG: I see myself as being left-wing, but not far enough left to be against money. I am no radical anti-capitalist. I quite like earning a bit of money.

SPIG: We're not talking about "a bit of money".

DG: I regard the amount of money we're earning as obscene.

SPIG: Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think "I've made too much money"?

DG: Frequently. And then I try to regain composure by getting up and just writing a few checks for charity.

SPIG: What causes your bad conscience?

DG: The amount of money. Then again, when you compare that to what chairmen of big companies earn, I think that I am more entitled to my millions than they are. After all, I have made the world happier than Unilever.
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by Hadrian »

One thing to keep in mind regarding the vinyl age, to which Pink Floyd's classic years belong to: people were often purchasing same records again and again, the ones they listened to and cared about, once those albums and singles started skipping, were incidentally scratched, etc. When the CD showed up in stores in 1982, the higher price was initially advertised as justified because you would never have to buy the same record again. I know a few folks who would even buy two LP copies at the same time, one to listen to, and another one to archive on the shelf. All of this was inflating the vinyl record sales.

One good thing about streaming delivery is the total freedom in terms of release format (i.e. the number of songs, the length of songs, the total length of the release, etc.). Old forms are still kept for recognition (single, EP, album), but they are essentially obsolete, and the notion of sides (A and B) even more so. Ironically, Pink Floyd is the perfect fit for this format freedom. Material had to be cut from The Wall ("What Shall We Do Now?") due to physical format restrictions, and my biggest grievance of them all, the splitting of "Shine On", had to be done because there was not enough material to put on the B side against it (just 3 other songs as the B side of the LP that would have the entire "Shine On" as the A side would make that B side circa 8 minutes shorter).
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Re: Pink Floyd - Overall music sales

Post by Master_Chief »

When it comes to new releases I am a Spotify user first and foremost. I can't count of the amount of times I've rushed to a HMV or equivalent in the past to buy a new album based on the lead single, only to find out that the rest of the album is awful.

I hate CDs and very rarely buy them now, purely based on their nasty plastic cases. I've owned hundreds, if not thousands, of CDs over the years and have had literally loads of them break in ways that have gone on to irreparably damage the CD itself. Namely it's the "teeth" that holds the CD in the case, and don't get me started on the foam variant which I distinctly remember being used on the On an Island CD release. Man did that album skip...

So do I still buy physical media? Yes I do! If I like an album or an artist a lot, I buy a vinyl record. That's probably one of the best things about Spotify for me. I listen to a new album/single as soon as it's available and if I instantly like the content I then order the vinyl, sometimes directly through Spotify!

I totally agree that Spotify and other streaming services promote a certain freedom from the artists, in a sense that they can create compositions and albums as long as they see fit. Plus it also allows up-and-coming artists to promote their work, for instance an old work colleague of mine already has at least one single on Spotify with his band.

And as for the financial implications to artists when it comes to streaming, I'm afraid these things aren't necessarily new. Just look at Queen, it wasn't until they'd released their first three or so albums before they finally thought "why are we still earning a pittance and our record producers and managers are arriving to studios in brand new flash cars"? This topic led to the lyrics in their song Death on Two Legs, and we all know about the lyrics behind Welcome to the Machine. The only group of people that suffer from this ongoing battle are the everyday punters. Either the albums and streaming services cost a bomb, or the concert tickets cost an arm and a leg. ](*,)