Total Music Sales are Down, but so is P2P Use - The UpStream

Total Music Sales are Down, but so is P2P Use

posted Sunday Feb 28, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Total Music Sales are Down, but so is P2P Use

Last week, the world held their breath during the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics while at the same time salivating over the announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series at MWC, so I guess the media had nothing better to do than to report on studies and researches. Here's another for you.

Marketing research firm NPD Group has reported that numbers have plummeted from '07 to '09 when it comes to how much music was legally purchased. Stating at the Digital Music Forum: East conference in New York, NPD analyst Russ Crupnick mentioned that 24 million fewer people bought music in the two year time frame, whether it be CD or online. However, total spending per user has increased, and more shockingly, P2P use has decreased in the same time.

It's been known for some time that CD sales are falling, quickly. When talking just CD sales, 33 million fewer people have purchased physical product between 2007 to 2009, according to Billboard. Obviously we know that online digital media purchasing has increased during the same time and although it's not enough to balance the decline in physical media, digital music spending per buyer is up 52% over the two year span!

We're not surprised by the fact that CD sales are decreasing, we've known that for years, because it's easier to hop onto iTunes or Amazon and pick exactly the songs you want, which means less total revenue. The good side to this, though, is that digital album sales are up 16.1% between 2008 and 2009, which can partially be attributed to the sample features found in many software applications.

Plus, when you think about it, the addition of low-quality files, spyware and other methods of file-sharing along with DRM-free offerings, Internet radio and other methods of streaming, it makes perfect sense that actual P2P use is down.

NPD did mention free Internet radio like Pandora and last.fm contributing to a 41% increase in paid downloads as well, which also makes sense because of the ability to fully hear a non-radio song before you spend money on it, and it allows users to find and experiment with new music all the time.

Do you use any of the other features instead of P2P software now? Have you bought legal music lately? Or have you donned an eye-patch like the rest of the pirates? Let us know! Reminder, you can't remain anonymous.

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