On Music Sales


Over the last few years, I have bought a handful of CDs. Maybe $50 per year. I know - not much. I just opened iTunes, and selected the "Purchased Music" playlist. It's got 100 tracks in it. That's $100, in the few months since iTMS Canada opened on December 2, 2004. Extrapolate that to roughly $200 per year. About 4 times more than I had been spending previously.

I know I've been on a binge/abstain cycle with the iTMS - I go for weeks without buying anything, then I slip and buy a bunch of stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat. There must be a 12-step program for that... But I hadn't realized just how much more content I am buying via iTMS compared to "traditional" media outlets.

And people are saying the music industry is doomed, why? Sure - it's changing. But since when is change bad. Business models change - they've been changing all around us for years now, so why would the music industry be exempt? There's even a bumper sticker for this.

Online music has lower overhead for the artists and the labels - no disks to duplicate, ship, track, market, return, etc... No shelf space to maintain - the power of the Long Tail - no minimum wage "helpful" clerks trying to schlep products while just adding to the middle-man overhead... And, apparently, I'm much more likely to buy bits vs. atoms.

Combine the iTMS with podcasting, and I have absolutely no need for "traditional" media distribution. I get exactly the content I want, without having to store a whole bunch of physical CDs (that are useless to me once they've been ripped to my hard drive - they get used exactly once. rather wasteful, no?).

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