A sign of the times? For the first time in US history, digital downloads of music have overtaken “physical” music sales. And we can assume this trend will be echoed in Canada as well.
In 2011, 50.3% of all music sales were through digital download, according to an annual report by Nielsen and Billboard, making those that prefer going to the old record store and purchasing musical goods, the minority. And while CD purchases dropped last year, there was a new insurgence in vinyl records, according to The Guardian.
So this begs the question, are music stores going to go the way of video stores? In cities across Canada, vacant buildings plastered in red (Rogers Video) and blue (Blockbuster) signal the end of an era in the film industry. And with this latest statistic reported by Nielson and Billboard, music stores may be become a story we tell our own kids 10 or 15 years from now, “when I was your age…”
While we love the ease and simplicity (and zero eco footprint) of downloading our music purchases, I think we’ll look back and miss the days when hanging out at the music store was a teenage rite of passage, and half of the excitement of a new CD was checking out the cover art, and goodies and lyrics hid inside the CD case.