Thursday, March 22nd 2007

Music CD sales in USA fall, piracy not to blame

While piracy may be to blame for the drop in sales of some forms of digital media, it certainly isn't to be blamed for all drops in sales. Music CD sales (not prices, unfortunately) have declined sharply over the past three months. In Q1 2006, 112 million music CD's were sold. This year, various record labels have "only" managed to sell around 89 million CD's.

However, most clouds do have a silver lining. Record companies are very happy to announce that they have sold a total of 288 million music tracks on the internet (legally), up from 242 million from last year. Legal music album downloads have decreased to 99 million sales from 119 million sales last year. This may be indicating that consumers are telling record companies that they really don't want to buy albums that only have a few tracks that they really want.Source: The Inquirer
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8 Comments on Music CD sales in USA fall, piracy not to blame

Heedless Psychic
Somebody somewhere needs to set a site up where ppl can search for their fav band, select an album \ single, and be able to listen to the tracks in FULL. I hate nothing more than getting like 30secs of a song, downloading it and finding out its naff.
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That FULL listening mean it's a music player with unlimited songs and no-one would buy anything. Would be like the ultimate radio, what you like when you like and free. There are that sort of sites already, but they do cost money. Now you could put the full songs in such a sucky quality that no-one would like to rip those, but what artist / record company wants their songs to sound bad?
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Why not just put the full song online to listen to and have some sorta message in the middle (integrated so you can't edit it out) saying how much the single/album will cost?
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Bird of Prey
Agreed Ketxxx. Besides, I love my radio, even though its filled with commercials (haven't migrated to satellite radio yet). However, I like seeing bands in person as opposed to having their cds. And one more thing, why pay, when you can get it for free? Seems to be the pirates motto.
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why can't they give us full length songs? If they stream it in low quality, no one's going to want to keep that as opposed to buying something better. I don't mind buying mp3's from websites, they only cost pennies, for an entire album to cost under $2 is appropriate to me. Still, even those sites don't give me a full listen to the song, so I end up downloading it first. If the download is of high quality, why should i fork over money just to get the same thing? I wish I could donate money to the artist, as opposed to paying the label directly. If I could do that I'd just download everything and donate a few dollars to the artists that I appreciate.
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Working For Wages Or Donations

I don't like the DRM schemes that the studios have come up with, but I think its unfair to expect an artist to feel great about trying to live off a music career or a studio even wanting to produce the artist if that artist's entire album is only worth $2 (what???).

And about giving donations when you feel like. What if tomorrow when you went in to work, your boss said that instead of giving you a steady paycheck, they would pay you when they felt like out of a donation fund that customers funded whenever they felt like "donating" to your company.

No artist wants to share thier talent with the world if they are basically reduced to digital pan handling for the scraps that people feel like giving. The bad artists where their music isn't worth spit, they will either improve, be relegated to a few 99 cent downloads, or leave the market. If they are good however, they should be compensated for their work.

I'm not trying to start a debate about the merits of DRM or the evil practices of the music industry, but until you take and successfully live off a job where your customers "donate" monies to you when they feel like as opposed to paying you for your effort then you really should think about who you're taking from when you "try out" that song from the internet.
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Semi-Retired Folder
If they want to sell more CDs they need to lower the damn prices, it is as simple as that. They need to stop bands like SOAD from releasing 30 minute albums and charging $14.99+tax for them. That just pisses the consumers off, especially when they know damn well the actual cost of the CD is less than a dollar.

I personally will not buy a CD unless I can get it for under $10 after tax.
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I agree with you there. I think the cost of CD's are way to high especially in light of the competition from internet downloads and piracy. I just think the industry really is holding on to an old model. Until they wholeheartedly embrace the fact that they are in business to sell music and not CDs then they will continue to hold on to the old model (CD sales) while only giving a token effort in the new market (internet downloads).

I also agree that the cheapest part of a cd is the plastic the music is on. The bulk of the cost by far is all the other pieces of the pie that have to get eaten (distribution, marketing, profit margins, and artist compensation).

Personally, I think the internet has the potential to give artists complete control over distribution as the cost of marketing on the internet is only pennies on the dollar for what the industry spends trying to sling plastic plates. Unfortunately, they (the artists) are igorant to this fact and so remain content with the scraps the studios throw their way while the studios get rich owning all means of distribution.

If enough artists of all music types (rock, rap, country, jazz, etc) got together and formed a cooperative directly selling thier songs on the internet, I think the price of songs would plummet while the artists would still be paid appropriately for quality work (good music).

I like the subscription model as I can download all the songs I want for a monthly fee. Even if I remove the DRM so that I can listen to the songs on my iPod, I wouldn't be uploading them on the web so the artist is still paid for his work. DRM sucks anyway.
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