Published on: January 6, 2011by Kevin Coupe
This morning brings another lesson in how the habits of the American buying public are changing, and how business must be on the alert to these shifts, or risk becoming irrelevant.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “for the ninth time in 10 years, U.S. album sales declined in 2010, even as paid downloads of individual songs stalled.
“American music buyers purchased 326.2 million CDs and digital album downloads during the 52 weeks that ended Jan. 2, according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen Co.'s SoundScan. That represents a 12.8% decline from the 2009 level, and a new low point since 1993, when SoundScan began compiling the data.”
However, single song downloads also took a hit, growing just one percent last year - though higher prices allowed for the first time by Apple’s iTunes ($1.29, instead of the previously mandated 99 cents) may have made up for the decline in demand. But while higher prices may compensate for lowered demand, the music industry has to face the possibility that it has crossed some sort of Rubicon, and that things may never be the same again.
It is, in fact, the same thing to which every retail must remain on alert. Rubicons rarely announce themselves...and often are crossed before one even knows it.
And that’s our Thursday Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: