Teenagers Shun CDs

by: Barry Ritholtz

You knew music sales were bad, but I bet you didn't realize just how bad they are:

• 48% of teenagers bought no CDs at all in 2007, up from 38% in 2006.

• Apple iTunes (NASDAQ:AAPL) has surpassed Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) to become the second-largest music retailer in the U.S. They now trail only Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT).

• The number of CDs sold in the U.S. fell 19% in 2007 from the previous year while sales of digital songs jumped 45%, Nielsen SoundScan said.

• Legal online music sales jumped 21% to 29 million last year from 24 million in 2006. The increase in legal online sales was driven by people 36 to 50;

• In 2005, teenagers accounted for 15% of CD sales. In 2007, the figure was 10%.

The recording industry likes to blame downloading as the source of all their ills, but I am compelled to point out a few things to them:

a) the economy has been weakening for a year now;

b) teenagers today have a universe of entertainment options that didn't exist 20 years ago;

c) The RIAA litigation tactics have completely disenchanted those who were once their biggest consumers.

Whoever thinks they can harass, menace, threaten and sue their biggest clients without repercussion obviously has never worked a retail business.

Teenagers have quite predictably responded with a giant "fuck-you-and-your-shiny-silver-discs, dude."

I am not surprised one bit...

More teenagers ignoring CDs, report says
Michelle Quinn and Andrea Chang
Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2008

Apple's iTunes: We're No. 2!
Bit Player, February 26, 2008