So a few months back I was talking with a few friends in front of a Music club in Los Angeles, we were discussing dwindling record sales and the days when records were constantly going Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum etc. Those were very different times.
Not that today is worse, it’s just different. The landscape has shifted so much that it’s becoming unrecognizable to the old model. I’m not gonna sit and grouse about how we should return to hunting for your new favorite album somewhere in the belly of a Tower Records on the corner of Main Street and Delusional Way. In Fact, I’m going to propose that the standards by which records are held to in regards to appreciation for Album sales needs to expand. The old sales charts were based on a world were record deals were a plenty, and if you wanted to own a “pirated” copy of something you had to settle for the crappy low fidelity of second-hand cassette city. I think people are listening to just as much music, but the ease at which people can pirate music, coupled with the diversity of the market (everyone can make a record with a laptop) dissipates what used to be an overwhelming choke hold “pop” music had on the general masses.
All this to say that we need a system that congratulates this 21st century phenomenon of “middle class musician”. Ready? Here we go…..
Currently the Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) has standards as follows
- Silver: 100,000 copies- your video is on MTV
- Gold: 500,000 copies- You’ve won a grammy
- Platinum: 1,000,000 copies- you’ve won a grammy and you have back up dancers, start crossing over into Film Roles
- Multi-Platinum: 2,000,000 copies-your backup dancers have backup dancers, Start talking in interviews about your “legacy”.
- Diamond: 10,000,000 copies- your name rhymes with SMichael SMackson
Let’s not Change these!!!! It’s tradition! let’s merely add to them with my new adjusted system:
- Bronze: 75,000 copies- Start referring to yourself in the third person
- Pewter: 50,000 copies- you begin to make lavish purchases
- Aluminum: 25,000 copies-The People at Pitchfork.com love you, but they’ll hate you if you go Bronze
- Wood: 10,000 copies- your parents friends don’t believe you make money as a musician and currently hold the theory that you’re a drug dealer
- Cotton: 5,000-you still freelance as a graphic designer
- Paper: 1,000-people at your thankless job ask how your band is doing (you can’t wait to quit)
- Wax: 500- dude, just making a record is hard enough. Good for you.
- Lint- 50- you need to get out more
So there it is. Finally a system worthy of todays recording industry. This is multi-paper recording artist Jake newton signing off,