Thursday, March 22, 2007

CD sales suck, and it's not your fault

It's not your fault, Will.

Highlights (from

"One week, "American Idol" runner-up Chris Daughtry's rock band sold just 65,000 copies of its chart-topping album; another week, the "Dreamgirls" movie soundtrack sold a mere 60,000. As recently as 2005, there were many weeks when such tallies wouldn't have been enough to crack the top 30 sellers. In prior years, it wasn't uncommon for a No. 1 record to sell 500,000 or 600,000 copies a week."

"The music industry has been banking on the rise of digital music to compensate for inevitable drops in sales of CDs. Apple's 2003 launch of its iTunes Store was greeted as a new day in music retailing, one that would allow fans to conveniently and quickly snap up large amounts of music from limitless virtual shelves."

"It hasn't worked out that way -- at least so far. Digital sales of individual songs this year have risen 54% from a year earlier to 173.4 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But that's nowhere near enough to offset the 20% decline from a year ago in CD sales to 81.5 million units. Overall, sales of all music -- digital and physical -- are down 10% this year. And even including sales of ringtones, subscription services and other "ancillary" goods, sales are still down 9%, according to one estimate; some recording executives have privately questioned that figure, which was included in a recent report by Pali Research."

"Meanwhile, one billion songs a month are traded on illegal file-sharing networks, according to BigChampagne LLC."
Let's not blame this all on Best Buy and illegal downloads. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of music that gets cranked out suffers from being soulless, contrived, and manufactured. Am I old and crotchety for saying that DJ Unk doesn't inspire me to walk it out?

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