CD sales plummet sharply; Digital albums no help | iLounge News


CD sales plummet sharply; Digital albums no help

U.S. sales of music CDs plunged 20 percent in the first three months of the year, according to figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. “89 million CDs were sold from the start of the year through March 18 as compared with 112 million CDs sold during the same period in 2006,” reports AFP. “Purchases of digitized albums online failed to make up the difference—instead they dropped from 119 million during that time period in 2006 to 99 million during the first three months of this year, SoundScan reported. Meanwhile, sales of individual songs in digital format on the Internet rose from 242 million tracks during those months last year to 288 million this year.”

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I think it is easy to make blanket statements about how your own personal bubble but just because you believe that no good music has been released in the first three months of the year does not mean that amazing music hasn’t been released for someone else’s stylings.  Without looking at all the facts and having a way to quantify the quality of the music being produced, it is important not to look too in depth at these statistics that are simply put out their to satisfy the needs of the writer.

Posted by joebob2406 on March 22, 2007 at 3:51 PM (CDT)


It’s so true.  I just went and bought the new Andrew Bird album.  I used to buy albums like crazy, because I believe artists should get paid for their work.  But the stuff out today sounds like the same crap they’re using to sell hair products and cars.  It just plainly sucks.  They’ve missed their market and gone completely for 13-year-olds, who don’t exactly have jobs.  We need real freaking talent out there to be noticed!  If we were in the 90’s, American Idol would be urinated on so quickly it would be shut down.  But I really believe that show is a meter to gauge how many people are so subdued, so dumb, that they don’t care about the war and how wreckless our country has become.

Posted by Ian on March 22, 2007 at 7:47 PM (CDT)


Ding dong the witch is dead…..

Posted by mthrsuperior on March 22, 2007 at 8:32 PM (CDT)


I would have to disagree with the statement that “there’s no good music anymore.” The reason no one out there has the 20+ year fame of Madonna or U2 is because they haven’t been around for 20 years…. And what about the likes of John Mayer or The White Stripes. And Scott (comment 14), you can hardly say that the likes of Ozzy and the Stones didn’t have drug problems… and end up in rehab from time to time. There’s been a plethora of bad music since the dawn of time. I’m finding plenty of music worth listing to…. and it’s all on iTunes

Posted by Andrew H on March 22, 2007 at 8:58 PM (CDT)


Looks good on them.  I download lots of music but will never…never… pay for a CD again.

Posted by Kyle Armstrong on March 22, 2007 at 9:44 PM (CDT)


joebob, I don’t dispute that my statement was probably unnecessarily broad, but I think the numbers put forward in this article basically support my assertion.  If a lot of music was being put out that people were interested in, it’d be selling.  Yes, I personally despise most of what shows up on Top 40 or Modern Rock radio, but all quality arguments aside, it’s pretty difficult to say that sales wouldn’t have been better if there had been more compelling music available.  And I’m not saying that only music that I find compelling falls into that category.  People aren’t buying music at least in part because they aren’t hearing music worth buying.  Yes, it’s easy to blame illegal downloads, and that is definitely a factor, but it can’t possibly be the only factor in a dive of this magnitude.

Posted by JG on March 23, 2007 at 9:32 AM (CDT)


Has there ever been a more tired cliche than the one being grumbled about here?  Namely, the “back in my day, music was so much better…” cliche.  People recall these golden days of earth-shattering brilliance playing 24/7 on the radio.  It just wasn’t so, folks.  I understand the temptation and I certainly remember the days of which many of us are speaking.  But time has a way of smoothing away the rough spots in our memories.  Crap has always been around and always will be and I’d be wiling to bet that it sticks around at about the same percentage.  It’s true of all art forms:  most of everything is no good and will be forgotten.  Just because it seems true to you that music is no good anymore does not make it so by any means.  Technology like the internet, the mp3, the ipod, satellite radio, etc., has dispersed music to the four winds, as opposed to to having a handful of radio stations, one MTV, whatever.  Great music, timeless music, the kind of music you subjectively proclaim no longer exists certainly does, if you seek it out.  More than ever before, you, as the listener, are empowered to shape what you hear, if you invest your time/interest in doing so.  If you rely on major record companies to present you your product, then, yeah, things might sound fairly dismal out there.  But it’s simply untrue to say good music is somehow dead.  All it reveals is that you haven’t heard anything you liked, which is utterly subjective.  I’m sure Bing Crosby fans lamented the state of affairs when the Stones, whoever, hit the scene.  It’s a timeless complaint but as ever shortsighted.

Posted by Paul on March 23, 2007 at 1:28 PM (CDT)


testing 1,2, 3

Posted by Elcoholic in So Cal on March 23, 2007 at 2:37 PM (CDT)


One reason for CDs is many of the best tracks are not the ‘hook’ songs for radio play.  Serious artists put together thoughtfully composed albums that tell a story, make a statement or create a mood.  Sadly those that buy singles never get exposed to the really good stuff or the whole story.  Nothing has really changed except the delivery method.  Top 40 fans of the past bought 45’s and now they download singles.  Those that delve deeper still buy albums.

Posted by Elcoholic in So Cal on March 23, 2007 at 3:57 PM (CDT)


I worked in an independant brick & morter music store for ten years.  The major labels and the RIAA hated or ignored these places ‘cause they couldn’t control our opinions or their product placement and promotion. I’m sure that label execs do the happy dance every time one of these stores goes out of business.
Many people can remember the horrid experience of requesting an album at one of these places and being ridiculed by the sales rep for their uncool choice.  I once special ordered a “Peter, Paul,  and Mary” cassette and was treated as though I was personally responsible for all the evils in the world. Mind you, I played bass in Punk and Prog bands, but it was somehow wrong for me to play or buy Scarlatti on harpsichord.
There are great CD’s out there.  I buy them directly, at the shows, from the unsigned DIY bands and ensembles.  Labels have always wanted their artists to have an established base first.  Nowadays, by the time the artist has that they don’t need the labels for distribution.  That much has changed since the bad old days when you had to get the cash together for a thousand record pressing, or you signed for pennies on the dollar and after a hit record you owed the label money.  When iTunes comes up with a method for anyone at all to put up their inventory easily, the playing field will truly be leveled.
Long Live Great Music - Death to the Majors!

Posted by Nathan Hey on March 24, 2007 at 4:24 PM (CDT)


The Problem i think is that there is nothing new out there. Everytime i turn on the local radio station i hear songs that have been out since before christmas. I have yet to hear a song this year that is new and original. Maybe Hip-Hop really is dead, like NaS says it is

Posted by Kutana on March 25, 2007 at 11:17 AM (CDT)


What’s interesting is that iTS doesn’t just sell RIAA music, but a slew of indie-stuff as well. Not that Apple would ever share the data, but I’m curious whether their sales reflect any disproportionate sales growth between the RIAA and non-RIAA stuff. That would certainly mean that people are being a bit more choosy about where their money goes. A 20% drop in CD sales can’t solely be attributed to music theft. This smacks of a boycott. ;)

Posted by Laer on March 25, 2007 at 9:17 PM (CDT)


As ridicuous as it might sound, I realized that a lot of the albums I bought in the 90’s, I never listened to again. NEVER AGAIN. Probably just a handful were worthy. I stopped downloading albums several months ago, with a few exceptions. Nowadays I download several singles from new upcoming or recently released albums, and I say to myself, IF I like the singles enough, I will go on and buy the albums. If not, the song will go into a new playlist, and there it is quite enjoyable. Very enjoyable. Sttange. Maybe I never really liked the album concept that much.

Posted by replickhant on March 26, 2007 at 8:19 AM (CDT)


Did the guy that berated you look like Jack Black too?  Big businees and the RIAA are all about control. Music is art and the two will always be at odds, hence the Indie movement.  Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the Moon was on the charts for something like 8 years. “They” changed the rules to get it off the charts because that doesn’t go well with the Top 40 haircut formula band of the month set.  Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar. youre gonna go far, fly high,
Youre never gonna die, youre gonna make it if you try;theyre gonna love you.
Well Ive always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think. oh by the way,
Which ones pink?
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy, we call it riding the
Gravy train.

Posted by Elcoholic in So Cal on March 26, 2007 at 2:46 PM (CDT)

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