Interscope Delays Major Releases
The music industry realizes 40 percent of its total annual sales during the Christmas shopping season, but one label may see a major sales slump over the next month instead. While Interscope Geffen A&M Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, finally released Chinese Democracy, it has also had to delay release dates for other albums by many popular artists that were slated for release this Christmas season. Originally, Interscope had planned to release 50 Cent’s Before I Self Destruct and Eminem’s Relapse, in addition to albums by the Black Eyed Peas and U2. There was also a rumor circulating that Dr. Dre might be ready to release Detox, his first album in nine years. Thanksgiving is upon us, however, and only Dr. Dre’s album may see a release before 2009.
Addressing the topic of the delays, Interscope Chairman, Jimmy Iovine, said, “Interscope Geffen A&M has never been a label to rush the creative process of its artists.” While his statement may be accurate, Interscope could certainly use a sales boost in the wake of recent industry sales news. The general economic news has been dismal, yet music sales appeared to escape the same fate. That is, until recently. New figures, however, show that album sales from last week are down 29 percent compared to figures taken one year ago. This drop is compared to a 13 percent drop in revenues for this year to date.
Expecting a holiday release for his album, Eminem released his autobiography The Way I Am in October. In addition, Monster Cable Products is presently in negotiations with Dr. Dre to endorse headphones and Drinks Americas Holdings is pursuing his services as a celebrity endorser for their Aftermath Cognac. To what extent these promotional tie-ins will still be able to boost the sales of these now delayed albums is unclear.