Nielsen: Digital Downlaods Drive Music Sales Up in 2011

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News Posted: Thu, May 12 2011 12:29 PM
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the boat a minute, young fella. We like to fancy ourselves an intelligent bunch, but something just isn't adding up. According to market research firm The Nielsen Company, music sales in the U.S. are up 1.6 percent in 2011. The reason, Nielsen says, has a lot to do with the explosive growth of digital album and track sales.

How can that be if, as the RIAA would have us believe, starving artists are out in the streets begging for handouts as piracy kills the music business? We're embellishing a bit here, sure, but the point we're making is that the RIAA's fear mongering needs to stop. Let's look at some more stats.

According to Nielsen, digital album and track purchases jumped 16.8 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Nielsen says digital retailers received more than half of all music transactions, propelling a 12.4 percent growth in sales over last year.


Despite the RIAA proclaiming the sky is falling due to piracy, vinyl album sales increased 37 percent in the beginning of 2011 compared to the same period one year prior, and have never been higher. (Image Credit: Nielsen)

"Strong releases and aggressive promotions by the labels and retailers are among the many contributing factors to the strength we're seeing in the music industry," said Dave Bakula, SVP Analytics, Entertainment for The Nielsen Company. "Overall, the data reflects a continuing strong demand by music consumers."

In short, as long as artists crank out quality tunes, music lovers will support them with their wallets. What a novel concept, eh?
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Inspector replied on Thu, May 12 2011 4:29 PM

Maybe the way music gets pirated has been stopped or gotten less easy for everyone they are being forced to buy the music :)

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rapid1 replied on Thu, May 12 2011 6:23 PM

No it is the same or even worse I would imagine Inspector. The thing is no one has had any choice in the music biz as the smart phones have grown. The music playing equipment as well has frown substantially. Think about if you have a current or somewhat ne smart phone, well then you also have a mobile music player.

I actually returned my GX2 today as it was faulty. The new one coming on T-Mobile from HTC (sensation drops on June 8th) as well as the EVO 3D (pretty much the same phone without the 3D cameras) will be the same. I don't know about the Galaxy S ll as far as sound performance goes, but I would imagine good if not great as I am sure most of the phones that come out from now or at least a large amount will be.

So not only is Android, iOS etc growing in devices sold and market saturation so is the world of digital music players. I eve saw some devices yesterday that cab broadcast media from a smart phone all over a house, the same stuff can also be used with a desktop or HTPC, or laptop as a digital content server. If you have one of the receivers in the house it plays whatever device you tell it to from every speaker in the house.

That is also not to mention internet streaming services etc. That is also one of the reasons I almost laugh when I hear RIAA commiserating amongst there selves as well as to everyone else. It is just straight BS if they would have only embraced it and evolved. In many ways it follows the current political fear climate that both the republicans democrats, and the T-Bags etc propagate. It is always a big seller because people do not think them trough rationally they just take it at the moment and it grows.

If they had jumped on from day one they would be making more than they did this year on digital content. This also applies to movies and TV shows or other programming as well. The people want media in every form it exists. They will get it one way or another. So when you block that the criminal element grows and has more power therefore causing more damage because of the unwillingness to adapt. It applies to many, many thing as well, but we won't get into that here!

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realneil replied on Thu, May 12 2011 9:01 PM

Audiograbber is fast, free, and it will take any song off of any CD. Note: You'll need the lame encoder too.

I used it to back up my crapload of CD's to digital storage. As for buying CD's, I have found that they can be had for pennies on the dollar at garage sales, swap meets, and flea markets. I never buy them online.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, May 12 2011 10:30 PM

>> Maybe the way music gets pirated has been stopped or gotten less easy for everyone they are being forced to buy the music :)

BWAHAHAHAHAhAHAahAHAhAaHAHahAhahaha..... You're killing me.

Weird how music sales go up as DRM gets removed from the major music stores, eh?

I'm with reilneil though: As long as the RIAA is suing individual filesharers - I'm buying all my music from non-affiliated artists or channels where the RIAA won't profit.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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HHGrrl replied on Fri, May 13 2011 2:36 PM

3vi1: "Weird how music sales go up as DRM gets removed from the major music stores, eh?"

Yeah, isn't it strange how that works? I guess consumers want freedom and flexibility with their music. What a novel concept!

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