Year-end shipment statistics report says that digital music now accounts for 47% of total music shipments in the US, up from a mere 9% back in 2005. Digital downloads continued a double digit annual growth pace reaching $2.2 billion, a 10% increase from 2009′s total of $2.0 billion.
The RIAA has released its “2010 Year-End Shipment Statistics” report and the data gives further proof that consumers are willing to pay for digital music.
Digital downloads continued their double digit annual growth pace reaching $2.2 billion, a 10% increase from 2009′s total of $2.0 billion. Digital single sales grew 2.1% while digital album sales grew 8.8%, and the dollar value of each rose 12% and 9% respectively.
Where it gets interesting is how digital music now comprises a record 47% of total music shipments in the United States. The figure was only a modest 9% back in 2005. In fact, the total US digital music market grew to $3.2 billion in 2010, up 3% from 2009.
The figures make the music industry’s arguments about the harm caused by piracy and illegal file-sharing seem all the more nonsensical. If people are able to download music for free then wouldn’t digital music sales be in decline rather increasing in the double digits?
The real reason for the decline in CD sales is evolving consumer tastes. Is there anything more unsightly or cumbersome than a physical CD? I admittedly even look at people that lug the things around a bit differently. Don’t you? It’s not like vinyl which has a distinct and warm sound, they’re cold silicon discs that have outlived their usefulness.
Additionally, music fans have a number of FREE music alternatives like YouTube, Pandora, and Last.fm. Increased use of these services is another reason for declining CD sales.