Radio 1 boss George Ergatoudis: ‘Playlists are the new albums’

The station's Head Of Music has clarified his recent comments that albums are "heading closer to extinction"

BBC Radio 1’s Head of Music George Ergatoudis has clarified a statement he made on Twitter earlier this week claiming that “albums are edging closer to extinction”.

The station boss, who decides what music gets played on Radio 1, tweeted a link to an article about the US playlist service Songza being bought by Google.

“Make no mistake,” he wrote. “With very few exceptions, albums are edging closer to extinction. Playlists are the future.”


Expanding on the comments, he told BBC Newsbeat: “I’m not saying that artists are going to stop making albums, I’m not saying that albums aren’t artistically relevant and there will still be some amazing artists recording amazing albums.”

However, he says that, “We’re moving from this world of old music purchasing leading to people buying albums and singles, to a world where predominantly in the future most people are going to be effectively renting their music from a music streaming service.”

The effect of this, he claims, is that listening to albums will now be a “minority sport” as people turn to services like Spotify or Pandora to listen to music in playlist form “rather than listening to a rather mediocre body of work, the album, which sadly is true in most cases.”

Huge sales amassed by artists like Adele and Ed Sheeran (pictured), whose second album ‘X’ became the fastest-selling album of 2014 with 182,000 UK sales in its first week of release, will not be impossible but will be a rare feat, Ergatoudis predicts.

“We are still going to get exceptions where the artist is brilliant, the audience loves that artist and they release a body of work that is strong enough, consistent enough that the public go out and buy it…But I think the number of artists that are selling albums, honestly, at a mass market level is already small and it’s going to stay very small.”