CDs and vinyl are beating digital downloads again

Streaming music is taking over the recording industry, and there’s no clearer sign of it than this: digital download sales have fallen so much in the past few years that they’re now smaller than sales of CDs, vinyl, and other physical media, which hasn’t been the case since 2011.

The stats, which come from the RIAA’s newly released 2017 year end report, show that digital downloads fell to $1.3 billion last year, whereas physical media, while also falling, only declined to $1.5 billion… More at The Verge.

I feel like I’m gonna gearing to be someone’s grandpa ’cause I just don’t get it. For me, downloadable, purchasable singles have brought on a golden age of music: I’m able to get the songs I want, pay artists, assemble a permanent music collection without paying rent on it, and never worry about wireless download amounts or not having a connection. I hate that the form I so love is losing in popularity, because it means support over the coming years and decades will not be a priority. Kirk.

Interesting view from Kirk, but I can fully understand why digital downloads are losing popularity. For me, anyone who is tech savvy enough to look at digital downloads will most likely move to streaming, and is owning a digital file really owning anything?

4 thoughts on “CDs and vinyl are beating digital downloads again

  1. I think we talked about this before. The weird thing about streaming for me is that I seldom listen to something more than a couple times on streaming because I have no commitment to it. If it is a ripped CD or a digital download it seems to have more value to me and I listen to it more often. I am compelled to listen because I spent specific money on it.

    1. I used to feel like that, but it changed recently. I have discovered a few bands (Magic Gang for example) and have played them many, many times. It took a while, but the whole streaming thing eventually got stuck with me.

  2. Isn’t this consistent with the instant gratification that the Internet brings or at least seems to. There’s a generation that’s growing up with being able to see and hear just about anything via an online source.

    It goes along with instant communication. Sort of surprisingly, not voice, but maybe that’s because you usually only speak to one person at a time, whereas with text you can be communicating with many.

    Streaming means I can hear or watch whatever I want whenever I want. I don’t need to own anything because it’s always available. Definitely a change in mind set.

    1. Yeah. Napster was the first service I found that had nearly any song I could think of, but I find Youtube plays that roll admirably now.

      I guess my take on “Streaming means I can hear or watch whatever I want whenever I want” is that it has to add “as long as I have a solid data connection at the moment, that I don’t mind paying for data for, and also that I’ve kept paying into whatever streaming service I chose”.

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