Manage for Success: Mid-Year Numbers and Take a Vacation; Newsletter #124, July 2012

"Manage for Success" is a free occasional newsletter for record label executives who want to operate their companies efficiently and successfully. It's published by Keith Holzman of Solutions Unlimited, a management consultant, troubleshooter, and trusted advisor, and is based on his many years as a senior executive in the music industry.

Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.

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SoundScan's sales statistics for the first half of 2012 were recently published. Some were positive, but others were mixed.

Total Album Sales (which includes CDs, Digital Albums, Cassettes, and LPs) were 150.5 million units-- off 3.2% from last year's 155.5. Digital Tracks Sales, on the other hand, were up 5.6% from 660.8 to 698.0 units. Digital Album Sales gained 13.8% to 57.2 million from 50.3

Sales of CD Albums fell 11.8% to 91.6 million units, furthering the decline of CDs as a viable sales entity. As a collector, I fear for a future that consists only of downloads.

Sales of Current Albums were off 10.8% to 73.9 million units, but Catalog gained 5.4% to 76.6 million.

As for genres, Country gained 5.8% and Rock and Gospel maintained their percentages. Latin, R&B/Rap, and Electronic/EDM all showed losses.

As regards Market Share, UMG had the largest with 30.15%, Sony followed closely with 29.93%, WMG had 18.4%, and EMI at 10.1%. Indies as a group had 11.2%.

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If you need advice on how to make your label more successful, let me help you as I've helped so many others "manage for success." Email me so we can discuss how I might improve your business. <http://www.holzmansolutions.com/contact.html>.

Or if you're considering creating your own label, I recommend "The Complete Guide To Starting A Record Company." The new and improved Third Edition is now available! You can read the complete Table of Contents, and download the introductory chapter at <http://www.recordcompanystartup.com/>.

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An article on the Small Business page of the New York Times of Thursday, July 5th dealt with the importance of taking regular vacations -- something in which I heartily concur. I remember occasions years ago when I felt I was just too busy to take time away from the office, and this was before the era of emails and the compulsion to be "connected" 24/7.

Never take the position that everything will fall apart if you take time off. If you really feel that could be a problem, then you're not running your company or department properly. Prepare your staff to work efficiently when you're not around, and delegate authority to surrogates while you're away. Above all, avoid the temptation to "check in" while you're away. And if your staff knows that you're unreachable, it forces them to deal with difficult matters themselves.

In fact, most of us do our best work after we've been away from the office for a couple of weeks, having taken the time to recharge batteries.

In addition, getting away from day-to-day pressures often gives busy executives some time for reflection and objectivity, and can be a great time to consider what works well, or to think about what might need modifications or changes.

So, if you're not sure if you can afford to take time off, understand that not doing so could be detrimental to your work and your goals, not to mention your health and wellbeing.

Until next time,
Keith Holzman -- Solutions Unlimited
Helping Record Labels Manage for Success.

Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.

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