Think about this...box office receipts are steadily increasing in tough economic conditions despite what one may think about the quality of some of the bigger hits... Recorded music sales, detailed in the chart in the new Fortune magazine, are taking a big decline down... I think one explanation besides lack of quality and the RIAA's favorite and questionable target of downloading is that other entertainment like movies, sports (?), TV offer more perceived value to the customer... Maybe an $8 movie ticket is worth more to the average American than $16 on a CD that may only get played a few times... Maybe the high dollar contracts for big music acts have developed to be so lopsided that labels have to gamble on them even if it wipes out profits...as Paul Simon says, "another generation throws a hero up the pop charts"...I seeem to believe that more one-hit or two-hit wonders is causing the industry to be dominated by fans shorter term love of artists which leads to adverse selection of lower quality musicians. Maybe a "doom loop" is active such as follows: 1. Record executive under earnings pressure from publicly held media company (almost all with low returns to shareholders) seeks to spend big money on brand name artist to guarantee profits. 2. Artist work gets packaged into one-hit or two-hit wonder albums that quickly shoot up the chart and down. 3. Artist development caters to ever younger, ever more fickle fan base. 4. Labels are perceived to not be rewarded to spend money developing talent. More dollars moved into pop/rock/rap segments and away from loyal customers in jazz and classical. 5. Serious listeners driven from market, less appeal for older music listener. 6. College students justifiably rebel against collusive pricing by downloading in mass for music collection. 7. Other labels follow suit which jacks up contract to say Pariah Carey, Robbie Williams, and others to insane and unjustified rates. 8. Declining listener dynamics further squeeze profits. 9. Cycle repeats: Lower profits (and losses!) lead to further gamble bigger on bigger names, further lessen artist development, lower expenses on scouting, etc. What do you think?