Music Sales Fall Overall But Digital Music Still Top Choice

April 4, 2011  |  

By Charlotte Young

CDs can now officially join the dusty attic or basement shelf next to all your old tapes, 8-tracks and record collections. Next year will mark the first time digital music sales will topple CD sales in the US music industry.

The consultant group Strategy Analytics recently released a report that shows a 16 percent drop in CD revenue sales.  As people continue to switch to iTunes and MP3 files, digital music sales will reach $2.8 billion while CD sales will fall one billion dollars to $2.7 billion.

In four years, single track downloads will comprise 40 percent of online music sales while album downloads will make up 32 percent.

Despite growth in online media sales, Martin Olausson of Strategy Analytics notes in a statement that “digital music sales are not developing as fast as expected.”

“While online revenues will expand further over the coming years, the overall size of the recorded music industry will continue to contract as record companies struggle to identify growth strategies,” he said.

There is some good news for the transitioning record industry–online music pirating is down. Daily Finance reports that the drop is mostly attributed to the fall of prominent peer to peer (P2P) file sharing source Limewire in October 2010. Since late last year, the number of P2P music downloading users has dropped almost 45 percent to about 16 million people.

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