iTunes in Free-Fall??!
Forrester research & The Register report that iTunes music store has experienced plummeting sales this year - reportedly down 65% since January.
It seems that despite the price advantage of digital downloads, consumers still buy the majority of their music on CD. Yet sales of CDs are down 20% over the last five years. Josh Bernoff from Forrester said that
The message here is not that CD sales are coming back, the ability to obtain pirated music is now so widespread the DRM looks to consumers more like a problem than a benefit.
I’m not certain about that. On the same story, John C Dvorak pointed out that
While the music industry will blame this on piracy I think it goes deeper — to the heart of the business. There is virtually no way for most buyers to hear new music that they may want to purchase since the consolidation of the radio industry. Blame the FCC for allowing this.
Which I think might be closer to the truth. Without a means to get exposed to the kind of music you wouldn’t normally listen to, your tastes tend to narrow. This is why I always listen to the iTunes free single of the week, and why I love sites like Amazing Tunes, where I can listen to the entire track before I decide to buy.