Myce.com Latest Updates

Digital music sales overtake CDs for the first time in UK

Posted at 01 June 2012 15:50 CEST by Seán Byrne

For the first time, revenue from music download/subscription sales has overtaken physical media in the first quarter of 2012. While individual song download sales have overtaken CD singles for many years, album sales including box sets continued to sell better than as downloads up until now. This is mainly due to the fact that consumers had no choice but to purchase the full album on physical media, where as music download stores allow customers to purchase individual songs from albums sold as downloads from most online shops.

The BPI (UK’s equivalent of RIAA) has pointed out that it will take a few more quarters to confirm whether or not this trend continues, especially during the final quarter where consumers traditionally buy physical box CD sets and music videos as gifts during the holiday season. In the first quarter, digital sales rose by 23.6% while physical media sales fell by 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

Unlike physical sales, music sales also includes subscription services where customers can download or stream an unlimited number of tracks, but lose access to this music once they cancel their subscription. However, income from music subscriptions only makes up roughly 10% of digital sales and subscription rates are only increasing by about 20% each year.

While most music download stores have long done away with DRM that limits what devices customers may enjoy their music on, music downloads still have several other drawbacks over physical sales. CD audio still has superiour audio quality than music sold on iTunes and as MP3s on other stores. There are also legal issues with selling digital downloads second hand, unlike selling off unwanted music CDs. The same goes with purchasing second hand music, as there are no “Used MP3s” shops either.

Click to share

There are 4 comments

Jesterrace
Moderator
Posted on: 01 Jun 12 18:39
    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Makes sense given the number of albums, etc. that come out where only a handful of songs (or just the one) are worth listening to. The only way to legally obtain them without buying the whole disc is to purchase them digitally. That used to drive me nuts when I was buying CDs and I would be stuck buying a 15 track album with only 2-3 songs that I really wanted to hear. Buying them used help take some of the sting out of it, but having a medium where you can get everything you want without having to pay for the stuff that you don't simply can't be beat. That and with a number of sites (ie Amazon) you also have access to the import tracks at the same cost, instead of buying the import version CD at twice the price of the domestic disc, just for a couple of songs.
    olddancer
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 01 Jun 12 20:24
      And so ends the sale of High Fidelity audio equipment.
      The Fat, lazy iTwitts of the world have become content with their iCrap and can't be bothered to lift their Cheetos bloated butts off of their chairs long enough to actually visit a Music Store.
      CD quality is in itself crap, iCrap isn't even half that good.
      Seán
      Senior Administrator & Reviewer
      Posted on: 01 Jun 12 20:45
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by olddancer
        CD quality is in itself crap, iCrap isn't even half that good.
        That's especially true with many over the past 10 years that apply heavy dynamic range compression and many of the latest tracks seem to be getting even worse with this.

        A very good example is the beat parts of the David Guetta single "Titanium", where it seems like the radio volume is being rapidly turned down/up between every beat , which in my opinion sounds horrible and I doubt the CD version sounds any better.
        robertmorewood
        New Member
        Posted on: 09 Jun 12 21:54
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Seán
          That's especially true with many over the past 10 years that apply heavy dynamic range compression and many of the latest tracks seem to be getting even worse with this.

          A very good example is the beat parts of the David Guetta single "Titanium", where it seems like the radio volume is being rapidly turned down/up between every beat , which in my opinion sounds horrible and I doubt the CD version sounds any better.
          + 1

          The rapid volume changes are due to over compression, a bit like when they broadcast Analog over sine wave for the radio.
          I thought when the CD came out it would progress in quality, not stay at 44.1khz, not that great for music listening. And don't get me started with mp3/4. Its a real shame the way sound quality dropped when digital came about, sure there where some specialist gear out there that had higher sample rates but no good for the consumer who just wants to listen to their music. Just take a walk around the likes of currys and you can see the level of quality hifi on sale.

          Post your comment

          You need to register before you can comment

          Like us

          Most popular headlines

          'Microsoft to remove desktop functionality from Windows RT'

          A reliable source tells us that Microsoft will release Windows RT devices that o...

          A look at Google's internal desktop OS: Goobuntu

          Although ChromeOS is Google's desktop operating system for consumers, it's estim...

          Microsoft withdraws Windows 8.1 August Update after boot failures

          Microsoft has withdrawn four patches that were part of  Microsoft's Wi...

          Preview of Threshold/Windows 9 may arrive next month

          Microsoft intends to deliver a technical preview of their next operating system,...

          New TDMore version to rip and convert DVD within 10 minutes

          An upcoming version of Blu-ray and DVD copy software TDMore will rip and convert...

          See all headlines
          Follow Myce.com