The Album format is Gone! : Reality or Myth?

“I’ve been noticing for years the decline of the Album culture and format amidst the digital era and many Albums not selling as much as anticipated locally.” Let’s take a look at why the attention span and infrastructure around the Lp Album Format have weakened or declined. 

By P T Mashingaidze 

Most people will agree that the album format has seen better years. What is happening to albums dropping now ? ,”Why are the new albums seemingly non effectual?

“Technological advancements in Social Media tools and applications have changed the consumership of music and with Applications such as (Tik Tok) offering short-span visual and audio clips.

Are the consumer standards for the New young Music listener shifting given they now have a wider selection of artists, music and available on array of platforms that provide streaming of music and downloading from sites and social platforms like WhatsApp and other sites giving the most access the consumer of music has ever had since the beginning of the Recorded Music Industry and has seen the listener with little time and attention span towards large bodies of work.

Interestingly in Zimbabwe we are witnessing the increase in Album releases and this year alone we have seen two record breaking albums by Tocky Vibes and R.Peels with 36 and 45 songs

“The Album format is gone?! Album sales have been at a low since the early 2000s and have continued to plummet as the generation of listeners and their listening devices continue to morph from the Vinyl ,Cassette ,CD Players to the iPods and a plethora of Social platforms facilitating access to thousands of new artists everyday with releases on each and every social handle and Applications just wont allow for the success and attention from the younger generation who make up the bulk of music consumers in the world”

“Apple Music’s Executive decision to no longer accept Lp’ releases  in the Album format is a clear indication of consumers moving away from the Album format to a single’s model.” To Help give adequate illustration to the demise of the Album Culture is the fact that The top Album of  2018 (Ref RIAA) which was  undoubtedly Taylor Swifts Sensational Album titled “Reputation” sold up to 1.9 Million copies let’s just say 2 million copies seems like a-lot but in comparison to previous years this is deplorable and a clear message to artist’s of the change in behavioural traits within the Song Economy’s consumers.

The contrast is loud illustratively and literally in comparing Taylor swifts 2 million Copies with the Top Album of 1999 which was “ Backstreet boys Millennium sold 11 million Copies In 6 -7 months, without the advertising and access that is there today! This shows beyond a reasonable Doubt that the market models have been shifted by various factors mostly in technological, listening platforms storage and format and as mentioned earlier attention span is not at an index that allows the Album to survive current viral culture and devices thereof! 

Statics show the Death of the Album and minor hope resurgence in 2014 which saw an increase in Album sales but dwindled thereafter .

“The African Artist must realise that the digitalisation of the “song economy and its trends and consumer models require apt attention in anticipation as the Industry is fast changing  this leads to the conversation that has not been given much thought in the African context especially amongst Independent Artists and the younger creatives.

You must have a professional team of experts who can interpret and advise on issues pertaining to the visibility ,management, revenue, market penetration strategy, technological trend based analysis encompassing behavioural trends within the global Recorded Music Industry and current song economy, from Immersive Technologies and Artificial Intelligence Tools (Ai) to the coming Textless Music listener interfaces which allow for automated themed playlists.

“Africa is now not only a docile part of the Music industry and sales but actually the Last digital Frontier  Africa is the only arena that allows for growth within the Digitalised platforms model as the West has reached maximum Growth leaving Africa which is the youngest continent in terms of Young demography Music is vastly consumed by the younger amongst us and Africa is both young and Large enough in numbers to surpass any Market as of 2021 Africa is the Music Capital of the world! 

“Specifically Nigeria Lagos and South Africa “ South Africa Johhanesburg is the Music Capita Capital of the world indefinitely !,”As we enter the Web 3 Economy South African Market  leads because of user Access devices and internet access providing streaming capable listenership at a greater Revenue Scale whilst Nigeria is the largest Market in the World  in population of young listeners it is limited by political reasons and Rural Neglect in some of its Regions in terms of Electricity and Broad band internet service provision However Nigeria is the largest English film Producer in the world larger than Hollywood and India English productions combined !” Look! Around you on billboards and TV you’ll see the Presence of Hollywood listers and Music Stars now Very much present at our festivals and Shows  .of late john legend made waves making a duet with a relatively unknown Sa Artist in a clip that went viral …”Africa this your time don’t Miss out on this Attention and Global Interest from Burna boys Grammy to  Wiz kid and Tems hit  ,Black Coffees Grammy, Master kgs hot Jerusalem to Zakes Bantwini Osama Tour and Accolades  Africa is the Place to be ! 

“The day of the Artist who just trudged on naively or defiant of the economics and business side of things relying solely on yesteryear or previous offering notoriety is not a viable model anymore , The world is changing at alarming speeds and the creative must survive these developments by learning course’s in business proficiency and structures and models . 

“Get a super manager and team who will help your music and brand get to who it is intended allowing revenue collection and royalties that sustain your brand and copyright lifespan and beyond.“



  1. Thank you for this insightful piece of writing.

    Just to pick your thoughts which local managers would be great for a starter artist in this digital age?


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