As a life-long music fan that's been following the industry for well over 40 years, I found this recent bit of news very disconcerting:  2014 will mark the first year that no album will achieve platinum status for sales.

As we approach the end of the calendar year, experts are forecasting that we will finish 2014 without an album attaining 1,000,000 in sales;  This will mark the first time this has happened since the certification was first introduced in 1976.

An article in Billboard magazine highlights the situation and gives you the details of where some of the years releases will finish up sales wise.  It also postulates as to the cause of this situation.

I'll offer this:  While everyone is focused on how digital, downloads, and streaming may have affected the totals, I have a different theory - and it's one that may not be as popular.  Coincidence or not, 2014 has marked the first year that I have totally given up listening to a contemporary music format - in my case country.  The reason:  quality, or the lack thereof.  I simply don't care one bit about any of the new music being released by the current artists in the genre - and I never thought this day would come.

In addition, I offer that the problem isn't just specific to country music;  Contemporary music has been overrun by songs that lack style, substance, and depth.  In an era when the most popular song in the country sounds like a poorly (or unwritten) nursery rhyme, it's as if all of the passion that once existed in music is gone.

No one wants to buy that - and it's apparent that they aren't.

[It should be pointed out that the words expressed in this article are an opinion-piece and don't necessarily represent those of the owners, employees, or advertisers of TSM]