Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Digital music sales catching up to CDs

San Jose Mercury News
In this all-things digital era, CDs still dominate the U.S. music market — but not for long.

While CDs made up 65 percent of all music sold in the first half of 2009, digital downloads are quickly catching up, according to a report released Tuesday by researcher The NPD Group. With digital music sales increasing 15 percent to 20 percent a year — and CD sales dropping at an equal pace — purchasing tunes on discs is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Next year will be a tipping point, said Russ Crupnick, NPD vice president of entertainment industry analysis. "It will be a dead heat" between digital and CD sales, he said.

The speed with which digital sales have grown — they made up just 20 percent of music sales two years ago — have many people assuming CDs died long ago. "The assumption is that happened five years ago," Crupnick said. "In fact, at least in the United States, there are still 2½ times as many people who buy CDs as those who buy digital downloads."

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