According to numerous articles, including this one and this one, music sales for 2005 have been analyzed, and they are fascinating. CD sales slumped 7% based on sales in 2004 that totaled $480.6 million, while sales through late October of 2005 stood at $446.9 million. While this may sound worrying, it is legal downloading where sales soared with reported online sales in 2004 of $101 million and that number grew to $264.4 million this year. The number of legal sites selling music leaped from 50 in 2004 to 230 in 2005.
The question is, is this decline in CD sales actually a good thing for the industry? I personally think so. One of the biggest complaints about music for years has been a decline in the quality of songs. You have been forced to spend between $13 and $18 on a CD to get one to two songs you like and the rest of the CD is poor quality. By using sites such as iTunes, you can spend just $.99 on the song you want. So what the music industry is seeing is all their sales coming from one or two songs per album, and the fluff goes unsold. Now, if they go back to focusing on quality, they will see the number of singles sold increase, and full albums rise.
I know, I know, what a radical concept paying attention to quality. Silly me, but at last there is truly a way to vote for the songs, and works, you like the best.