US versus UK CD sales
The 2004 numbers are now out for CD sales in the U.S., and they are rather interesting: U.S. CD sales rose by 2.3% in 2004; It was the first rise in four years, but far below the 8% year over year gains we saw in the first quarter of the year.
The CD format still accounts for 98% of the 666 million albums sold, according to research company Nielsen Soundscan. A total of 140 million digital tracks were legally downloaded last year, equivalent to 14 million albums . . . By the end of the year, purchased downloads reached a weekly high of 6.7 million tracks, up from 300,000 in mid-2003.
Among the top 5 selling U.S. CDs were Usher (#1) and Eminem (#3) -- both heavily downloaded on P2P networks.
It gets even more intriguing when you compare music industry results here in the States with those in Great Britain: "The UK enjoyed a record year for album sales in 2004, with 237 million sold in the 12 months up to September, an increase of 3%."
Note that the U.K. population is 60 million people, while the U.S. has under 300 million people. With a population only 20% the size of the United States, the British buy 37% as many CDs as we do. On a per capita basis, U.K. music fans consume nearly twice as many CDs as do their U.S. counterparts
Why is that? How is it that they are setting records -- despite vibrant broadband penetration, and widespread access to P2P services -- while the U.S. remains far below 1999 levels?
I suspect three factors:
A more vibrant, less consolidated broadcast radio music scene (No Clear Channel Radio);
Less mass produced corporate McMusic so prevalent on the radio in the States -- from Ashlee Simpson to insipid Boy Bands;
A robust economic expansion. The U.S. '90s bubble was far more muted in the U.K., so its after effects are also less insidious.
It doesn't take much digging to see that the claims of the music industry re: P2P have been greatly exaggerated...
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference US versus UK CD sales:
» Beltway Traffic Jam from Outside The Beltway
The daily linkfest: Stephen Green has returned -- as Kevin Drum. Herb Ely gives his thoughts on military acronyms. Dean Esmay has a bewilderingly complex new set of rules for commenters. Kevin Aylward has the Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest. Ba... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 7, 2005 4:17:22 PM
» P2P and the Entertainment Industry from BusinessPundit
Wired has a great article about P2P networks. I found this part particularly interesting:It's a commonly held belief that P2P is about sharing files. It's... [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 7, 2005 4:28:55 PM
Since you mentioned Ashlee Simpson, I was glad to hear her get roundly booed by 80,000 fans during halftime of the Orange Bowl. It was a truly awful performance, and it was refreshing to hear the crowd give their honest opinion. People know good music when they hear it. They're not getting it today. Not much anyway.
Posted by: JJF | Jan 7, 2005 1:50:43 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.