Remember when it was so exciting to visit your local music store and buy the new CD you’ve been waiting to get for weeks? Today, its the same situation, except you don’t have to leave your house. With the click of a button you can purchase the entire CD on ITunes and make as many copies of it as you’d like.
Apple has pretty much taken over the digital world and become the leading business as far as music programs, computers, and smartphones. The CD business has felt a major blow because of this.
According to news outlet AdelaideNow, “Figures released this week in the US found that digital music sales outstripped physical album sales for the first time – accounting for 50.3 per cent of US music sales last year. This means, according to the Nielsen data and a Billboard report, that only 49.7 per cent of music was actually sold in stores.”
Other contributing factors for the dip in physical albums include illegal music downloading sites such as LimeWire and Ares. If you’re willing to risk viruses from file sharing to get free music, you can get most, if not all of your music for free. Of course, legal risks notwithstanding, pirated downloading results in the artist making no profit whatsoever from the sales.
Whether you choose to support the CD business or buy from ITunes, at least these are both legal ways to purchase music. “Regardless of format,” AdelaideNow reports, “a greater choice of legal options benefits both music fans and the artists.”
One of the main artists responsible for the rise in digital sales last year (which for the most part is singles), is UK soul singer Adele. “Her album 21 was the top-selling album of 2011 both on and offline, and her single Rolling in the Deep was the best-selling digital song, racking up 5.8 million downloads.”
This generation wants immediate gratification, and that’s what they get from using programs like ITunes and file-sharing programs. Consequently many record-selling businesses are closing down due to the popularity of ITunes.
On the positive side, it is more eco-friendly for people to buy and sell music digitally. It decreases the use of plastics in packaging CDs. It is believed that while digital downloading will continue to increase, the CD business will not die out completely. But as Australian music guru Glenn A. Baker put it, “perhaps we should be less worried about the rise in digital sales and start thinking about what our next musical revolution could be. What will replace digital downloading? Now there’s a question.”