“Sales of recorded music in the United States are on the rise for the first time in four years. The recording industry registered sales of about 667 million albums, an increase of about 1.6 percent, according to year-end data expected to be released today by the market research firm Nielsen SoundScan,” The New York Times reports.
“The data, covering a 52-week period, also show that the industry is beginning to tap the power of the Internet to generate sales, though free music still flows through online file-sharing networks. Sales of digital tracks through services like iTunes from Apple Computer exceeded 140 million, Nielsen SoundScan was expected to announce,” The New York Times reports. “While the data appear to diminish industry concerns that sales of individual songs online would cannibalize sales of CD’s, it is far from clear whether the industry will be able to develop profitable online business models. The data show that consumers buy individual tracks for about 99 cents much more often than they download full-length albums, which carry a higher price tag.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: All of those new iPods out there hunger for music on their tiny hard drives, it would seem. The more iPods out there, the better music sales will be, since iPod allows you to take music more places and listen in more personal ways. It ain’t Wave Radios or wonderful new artists doing this, folks. If you think Apple’s iPod isn’t behind the sales rise, please tell us what is driving up music sales for the first time in four years.
As for the mourning over album versus singles sales, perhaps if the music industry put out full-length albums full of good songs, they’d sell better than individual hits? Of course, this hardly ever happens, since by definition a hit is a rarer gem and contains something extraordinary that the other songs do not. Not every song on an album can be a hit (especially if your average artist is putting out an album every 18 months).
Perhaps the flawed “album” model is an artificial construct that was designed to grab more money by prepackaging the average (or worse) with a hit or two (at best)? We think that the health of the “album” shouldn’t be worried about by anyone other than those who profited from it. The industry can be “concerned” all they like and for as long as they wish, but at some point they should probably wake up and realize that the rip-off “album” paradigm they invented and nursed along for all these years has long since died. Have the funeral already and let’s get on with it.