The RIAA’s yearly sales report is out, and the big news is that digital music sales have finally matched physical media sales, which literally nobody didn’t predict. What’s really interesting is how the digital music sales break down.
- We spent more money on singles than we did on albums. This is the iTunes effect, basically.
-We’re finally spending a meaningful amount on Spotify, Rhapsody and Rdio, but they still made up less than a 10% of digital sales and 5% of all music sales for the year.
-We spent a lot of money on “mobile,” which is made up almost entirely of ringtones and ringbacks. Yep: America spends as much on fuzzy cellphone snippets as it does on the inevitable future of music.
Pretty much all the digital numbers are up from last year, except ringtones (probably because of smartphone adoption) and music video sales (because of YouTube/Vevo).
Overall, the music industry grew by .2% last year despite collapsing CD and DVD sales. Great job, music industry! You are not dead. And great job, America! I recognize your ringtones from the radio.
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I’m really loving Spotify. I hope the implications I’ve heard about it not being great for smaller artists aren’t true, because as a consumer, it’s great. Practically unlimited music for $5 a month? Yes please. Granted, you don’t ‘own’ any of it, but the things I really want to buy, I can grab on physical media like Vinyl (which typically comes with download codes for the album you’ve bought, as well these days), and Spotify has been a great way to find new bands to do just that.
- The Angry Luddite How America Buys Digital Music and thinks it’s