On Sunday the Jamaican Gleaner had an article titled “Reggae album sales plummett“. It gave a somber look at album sales for some of the top reggae artists. The article gave the impression the sales convey success. Actually if we measure success on the figures alone I think we may not be doing reggae justice.
Reggae music is everywhere. Many artists now do a “reggae dub plate” of their songs. It is heard in more commercials. It is played on the radio more. Sales may be down but awareness of the music is way up. I get so many emails from non-Jamaican artists around the world doing reggae and wanting to know the meaning of a word. We receive so many press releases daily with sound clips from reggae artists.
Could the problem be that reggae is mainstream but still being marketed as a “niche”? Could it be we are experiencing the same thing every category of music is also experiencing…low sales? Technology has changed things. As I mentioned last week everyone downloads music so sales will go down. I don’t think reggae music is in a crisis. It is an oppurtunity to rethink the way reggae music is marketed for consumption.