Let’s Get Less Physical?: Life on the Cloud, pt. 2

EARLIER TODAY, I noted that the Utne Reader just posted a piece on Tumblr about the shifting habits of music listeners, something I wrote about here earlier this week. The article, from the Guardian, points to the fact that statistically people, like me, still do want to hold on to their physical collections — and even more illuminating, are still buying CDs even if it makes them sound like “dinosaurs” — as the piece suggests. (And my Spotify invite arrived just the other day — what timing.)

Couple this with more and more brand new vinyl pressings I’m actually seeing in the stacks at bricks and mortar record stores — yes STORES and displayed like days of yore. All of it just suggests we’re still in flux when it comes to our idea of “owning” or the way we listen.

Why is the music industry so intent on abandoning CDs?

The snip here:

(via The Guardian)

Judging by the media coverage dedicated to digital music one might think the physical format is on its last legs. In fact, even the days of downloads may be numbered as growth in the sector has slowed down considerably over the past year. It seems nobody cares about owning music any more – people are happy to access music via the cloud and stream it from services such as Spotify.

It’s as if nobody wants to talk about CDs for fear of sounding like a dinosaur. But while 90% of discussion about the music industry concerns digital consumption and how to monetise it, actual sales show the majority of music fans are, in fact, such dinosaurs. In 2010, according to the BPI, 82.2% of album sales were CDs, with downloads trailing at 17.5% (vinyl and USB sticks took up the remaining 0.3%) – despite there being fewer record stores. Revenue from streaming services is pretty insignificant. In 2009 it represented £24.5m out of £928m earned from recorded music.

Full Guardian piece here:


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