20% drop in US CD sales shows the power of the music fan
I don't like buying albums, for one reason. Most of the time, they're a mixed bag. Some great tunes, some good tunes, some poor tunes. That's why I love ITunes. I can cherry-pick the songs I like and leave the rest behind. 99 cents a song? Thanks, I'll take four. Well, it looks like I'm not alone, because CD sales are down. Wayyyyyy down.
Nielson Soundscan, a music research company, has reported today that sales of US CDs are down 20% over the same period last year. What does that equate to? Well, compare the 112 million CDs sold in the first three months of 2006 to the 89 million sold in the same period of 2007. That's a big chunk of change.
Music execs were hoping the digital music downloading trend would bridge the gap. But this is where the power of music fans has underwhelmed the projections, and that's all down to choice. Some people will only buy two songs off a whole album. Others will buy four. Some buy the whole album at a knockdown price, but those people are much more rare. And that's sending a big message to musicians and the music industry. There can no longer be 'filler'. As consumers, we want powerful albums and powerful songs.
It'll take a few more years for digital music to obliterate CDs. But with MP3s and digital media increase in popularity, it may not be long before CDs go the same way as vinyl.