First came the phonograph, then radio, vinyl, 8-Track and cassette tape (dare I mention MiniDisc?) All of these once mainstream audio formats have fallen out of favour over the years, replaced by more modern, accessible technology.
Image via technicolor76
The last remaining physical music presence, at least in mainstream society is the CD, but that might not be the case for much longer.
According to The Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2011 Music Industry Report released last week, the music industry hit a major milestone in 2011, as digital music sales surpassed physical music sales for the first time ever. Here are some stats;
Facts done, now for a slightly hypercritical, nostalgic rant.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that although I’m pleased to see the digital music industry flourishing, I can’t help but feel a little sad about the decline of physical formats that I’ve grown to know and love.
I’m one of the few weirdo’s who still buys CDs – an actual item that I can pick up, admire, read, carry to my car, share with friends and store on my shelf with the rest of my music collection.
Digital music is different. I’m all for instant gratification but digital media has become almost too accessible, meaning there’s no connection with the product as it’s filed on our computer with all our other media, probably destined for a life on the ‘shuffle’ playlist.
Understandably the vast majority of people don’t care how and where their music originates and it’s each to their own, but let’s not lose touch with the bigger picture because there’s so much more to music than an an audio file.
Long live the CD.