Digital Music Sales: Good News & Bad News

by Spencer Critchley

The good news: the transition to online sales of music is going faster than I and many others anticipated. The bad news: musicians are making less money.

CD sales continure to decline year over year: in 2005 retail sales were down another 8 percent, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following an anomalous uptick in '04. And the global music market saw an overall decline of 3 percent, according to a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). But legal online sales are rising fast. The IFPI report says record company online revenues tripled last year, and now account for 6 percent of the global take. The IFPI believes legal downloads are now holding their own against free file-sharing. Half of the money comes from the mobile market for ringtones, full track downloads and the like.


2006-04-09 16:21:23
It's easy to blame commoditization as the reason content creator's aren't making as much money, but I , and many others, don't think that's it. Frankly, they're not making as much money because we can now purchase the individual songs that are actually good for a few bucks instead of spending $15-$20 for an album with one or two good pieces. Too many of these content creators market the heck out of a good tune and fill the album with crap.

Now, we have the choice of buying what we want. Content creator's need to produce a record full of good songs if they want to sell an album. For years consumers have dealt with the steady decline of quality albums, now there's a shift in favor of consumers.